By: Paul DiSclafani
Mets rookie pitcher Steven Matz threw 80 pitches in five innings today during an Instructional League game down in Port St. Lucie, Florida and reported no pain. “I feel like I’m where I need to be now”, said Matz, who is trying to prove to the Mets management that he belongs on the post season roster.
Matz, who is penciled in to start Game 4 of the NLDS against the Dodgers, hit 96 mph in the first inning and was consistently in the 93-95 range the rest of his outing. He allowed a triple to the first batter he faced and later allowed an RBI double in the second inning, but he retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced. Catcher Anthony Recker said, “When he got his rhythm back and his timing back, he really had good movement and he was throwing all four pitches well.
“He was nasty,” said third baseman Eric Campbell. “His fastball has a lot of life to it. He was throwing his off speed for strikes. He’s ready to go.”
Matz was scratched from his final regular season start with back discomfort and rested for over a week, taking medication before he resumed throwing on Monday. Matz missed time in July and August with a partially torn lat and the Mets are concerned that if they put him on the playoff roster and he needs to be replaced and put on the DL, he will be ineligible for the next round should the Mets advance.
For insurance, the Mets brought lefthander Sean Gilmartin out to LA with them while Matz was in Florida. He will be on the playoff roster instead of Carlos Torres in the event that Matz is not.
The Mets do not have to hand in their final playoff roster for the NLDS against the Dodgers until 30 minutes before Game 1.