Matz with the Mets in 2018
|New York Mets – No. 32|
|Born: May 29, 1991|
Stony Brook, New York
|June 28, 2015, for the New York Mets|
|MLB statistics |
(through August 20, 2019)
|Earned run average||4.03|
|Career highlights and awards|
Steven Matz was born on May 29, 1991 in Stony Brook, New York, the second child of Ron and Lori Matz. He has an older brother, Jonathan, and younger sister, Jillian. Ron Matz coached a travel baseball team and is a service manager at a Jeep dealership in Port Jefferson Station. Lori is an administrative employee at Comsewogue High School, also located in Port Jefferson Station. Matz and his family, as far back as his grandparents, are devout fans of the New York Mets. Matz was raised as a non-practicing Lutheran though he joined the evangelical Calvary Chapel while a minor leaguer.
Matz began receiving pitching lessons at age 10, from former MLB pitcher Neal Heaton. He attended Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, New York, and pitched and played first base for the school's baseball team; one of his games got rained out, resulting in an Arizona Diamondbacks scout instead going to watch Mike Trout (who had a bad game that day allowing the Angels to scoop him up with the 25th pick in the 2009 Major League Baseball draft). In high school, he enjoyed a rivalry with nearby Patchogue-Medford High School pitcher, friend and current New York Mets teammate, Marcus Stroman (Stroman also took pitching lessons from Heaton for several years). Matz and Stroman were teammates on the same elite travel team, the Paveco Storm, for several years in junior high and high school. The two were roommates during the Area Code Games and pitched against each other several times in high school. Matz also played with Ward Melville High School alumni and currents Blue Jays prospect, Anthony Kay. Despite not receiving attention from college or professional scouts until June of his junior year, Matz was named Newsday's Long Island Player of the Year and was given the Yastrzemski Award as the best high school ballplayer in Suffolk County in his senior year.
The New York Mets selected Matz in the second round, with the 72nd overall selection, of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. The Mets did not have a first round pick in that year's draft and did not expect Matz to drop to them in the second round. Some Mets scouts attributed this to his playing high school baseball in the Northeast, an area which does not traditionally produce much high round talent. Matz originally committed to attend Coastal Carolina University to play college baseball for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, but the Mets agreed with him on a $895,000 signing bonus ten minutes before the August 15 signing deadline for draft picks. Matz had scheduled a flight to attend his orientation at Coastal Carolina for the next day.
While pitching in an instructional league in 2010, he experienced elbow discomfort. A doctor diagnosed Matz with a torn ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow, requiring Tommy John surgery. He did not make his professional debut until 2012, when he pitched for the Kingsport Mets of the Rookie-level Appalachian League. He compiled a 2–1 win–loss record a 1.55 earned run average (ERA) in 29 innings pitched with Kingsport.
Before the 2013 season, Matz worked on developing a curveball to replace his slider, at the advice of Frank Viola and Ron Romanick. That year, he pitched for the Savannah Sand Gnats of the Class A South Atlantic League, where he had a 5–6 win–loss record and a 2.62 ERA while recording 121 strikeouts in 106 1⁄3 innings pitched on the strength of his fastball. The Mets added Matz to their 40-man roster on November 20, 2013, to protect him from being selected in the Rule 5 draft. He began the 2014 season with the St. Lucie Mets of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League, where he had a 4–4 record and a 2.21 ERA in 69 1⁄3 innings pitched, before he was promoted to the Binghamton Mets of the Class AA Eastern League in 2014. With Binghamton, Matz pitched to a 6–5 record with a 2.28 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 71 innings. After the season, the Mets named Matz their Organizational Pitcher of the Year.
New York MetsEdit
The Mets promoted Matz to make his major league debut on June 28 against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. Matz' first pitch was a wild pitch to Reds' leadoff hitter Brandon Phillips. Then on a 3–1 count, Phillips hit a home run off the left field fence, originally a single, but overturned on video review Matz became the second pitcher in Mets history to give up a home run to the first batter he faced since Jon Niese on September 2, 2008. Matz won his debut and, using a bat given to him by Las Vegas teammate Matt Reynolds, recorded four RBIs, breaking the Mets' franchise record for RBIs in a major league debut, becoming the first pitcher in MLB with three hits in a debut since 1945, and setting an MLB record for most RBIs by a pitcher in a debut. He was also the first Mets pitcher with four RBIs in any game since Dwight Gooden in 1990. He finished the game with three hits as the Mets went on to win, 7–2. Matz described pitching for the team that he grew up supporting as "a dream come true." Matz was the first pitcher from Long Island to make his MLB debut with the Mets since Ray Searage in 1981.
In his second start, Matz pitched six scoreless innings while striking out eight and allowing two hits. After the game, the Mets announced that Matz tore a latissimus dorsi muscle and would miss at least a month recovering. Matz returned to the Mets on September 6, starting at Marlins Park against Miami, and left the game with a blister and in line for a win, but received a no-decision. On September 18, Matz returned to Citi Field, pitching the first game of the Subway Series and earning a win. He allowed one run on seven hits and a walk in six innings while striking out four batters. With that, Matz became the first pitcher in franchise history to allow two earned runs or fewer in each of his first five career starts, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Matz finished the season with a 4–0 record in six starts with a 2.27 ERA in 35 2⁄3 innings pitched with a WHIP of 1.234 with 35 strikeouts while giving up 34 hits, 9 runs, 4 home runs, and 10 walks. Matz made his postseason debut in Game Four of the 2015 National League Division Series in a 3–1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Matz pitched five innings giving up 6 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. In Game Four of the 2015 National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs he pitched 4.2 innings giving up 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Matz started game four of the 2015 World Series against the Kansas City Royals pitching 5 innings giving up 7 hits, 2 runs, and 5 strikeouts. He received a no-decision as the Royals beat the Mets 5–3.
Matz made the Mets' Opening Day roster in 2016, as the fifth starter in the Mets rotation that consisted of Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Bartolo Colón. Matz made his first start on Monday Night Baseball against the Miami Marlins, but was shelled by Miami, only pitching 1.2 innings, and allowing 7 runs, taking the loss. However, after the bad loss, Matz rebounded to finish April strong, winning his next three starts in the month.
After compiling a 4-0 win-loss record, a 1.83 ERA, and 31 strikeouts in May, he was named the National League Rookie of the Month. However, after a great May, Matz pitched badly over the next two months, not winning a game and seeing his ERA balloon from 2.28 to 3.63. On June 28, it was reported that Matz and teammate Noah Syndergaard had been pitching most of the season with bone spurs in the back of their pitching elbows. It was indicated that Matz's spur was more significant and surgery was need to remove it. However, surgery required a three-month recovery time, which would force Matz to miss the rest of the 2016 Season. Matz decided to wait until after the season for surgery to remove the bone spur.
After two rough months, Matz pitched well in August, striking out 9 in 6 innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 9, and then taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning in his next start against the San Diego Padres. Matz struck out 8 batters in that game, and picked up his ninth win of the season, giving him a 9-8 win-loss record. Alexei Ramírez was the first Padre with a hit against Matz in that game.
The Mets placed Matz on the 15-day disabled list on August 22, retroactive to August 15, citing "left shoulder tightness". On September 27, it was announced that Matz would undergo surgery for the bone spur, hereby ending his season.
Matz began the 2017 season on the disabled list with an elbow injury, later labeled as a flexor strain irritation. He missed two months and was activated on June 9th, pitching his first game the following day. Matz battled through injury and inconsistency, pitching only in 12 games before being placed back on the disabled list with irritation in the ulnar nerve of his pitching elbow. On August 22, 2017, Matz underwent season-ending elbow surgery. Matz was given a platelet-rich plasma injection and told to rest when originally diagnosed with the elbow injury back in April; however, the Mets allowed Matz to skip his scheduled bullpen sessions in order to pitch through pain. Matz pitched 66 2⁄3 innings, with a 2–7 record and a 6.08 ERA.
Matz began the 2018 season with the big league club, as he was able to stay healthy in spring training. He began the year as the Mets' third starter behind Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. Matz rebounded from a rough opening start to pitch better for the Mets in 2018, seeing his strikeout rate and earned run average improve before a disastrous start against the Washington Nationals on July 31. Matz was chased from the game after recording just two outs and allowing seven runs on eight hits, causing his ERA to balloon from 3.79 to 4.35. After this start, Matz was placed on the disabled list after suffering a flexor pronator strain in his left forearm, although medical tests revealed no structural damage. On September 18, Matz hit his first major league home run and became the first Mets pitcher to homer in back-to-back starts since Ron Darling in 1989.
On July 2, Matz was temporarily moved to the Mets bullpen, a move the media described as a "demotion", which Mets manager Mickey Callaway denied. Matz made two scoreless appearances during his bullpen stint, then returned to the starting rotation after the All-Star break ended. By the All-Star break, Steven Matz finished the first half of the season with a 4.89 ERA, and a 5–6 record, with an 11.40 ERA in the first innings across all his starts for the season. Matz showed marked improvement over his next three outings, across which he had a 2–0 record with a 1.89 ERA, 15 strikeouts, and two walks. Among them was his first complete-game shutout on July 27, throwing 99 pitches, seven strikeouts, and allowing just five hits as the Mets defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 3–0. It marked the eighth time in Mets history that a pitcher threw a Maddux, and the first time since Johan Santana threw one in 2012.
The Mets received inquiries from other teams interested in Matz as the July 31 trade deadline approached, but they ultimately did not trade him. Around this time, Matz made a conscious effort to slow down his pitches, regroup, and focus on the next pitch. On August 7, Matz helping the Mets secure their sixth win in seven games, and their 13th win in 14 games, pitching 6 2⁄3 innings of a 7–2 victory against the Miami Marlins. Matz made his best road start of the year on August 14, allowing one run and two hits through six innings against the Atlanta Braves, with five strikeouts and one walk, and retiring 14 batters in a row. By August 20, Matz had a 2.81 ERA and 3–1 record across his seven starts and 41 2⁄3 innings since the All-Star break, striking out 38 batters and allowing just three home runs, and recording a quality start in five of his previous six games. He also allowed no runs during the first innings of each of those seven starts, bringing his first-inning ERA down to 8.14.
Matz dreamed of becoming a firefighter as a child before pursuing a career in baseball. On April 27, 2016, Matz started the charity initiative Tru 32, honors first responders from the New York City Fire Department, New York City Police Department, and U.S. Military. and started scholarships for children of individuals who have died in the line of duty. Matz married longtime girlfriend Taylor Cain in December 2017.
- Marcus, Steven (June 27, 2015). "Steven Matz's journey from local hero to big-league pitcher". Newsday. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Kerasotis, Peter (March 22, 2015). "Mets See Much Potential in Steven Matz, a Tenacious Pitcher". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- Vorkunov, Mike (June 27, 2015). "Why the Mets are 'lucky' for landing Steven Matz". NJ.com. Advance Digital. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Sarachik, Justin (August 24, 2015). "Steven Matz: Faith, Fastballs, & the Future; NY Mets Pitcher is 'Prepared' to Do 'Whatever' the Team Asks to Win [Interview]". BREATHEcast. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
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- Morris, Gene (August 3, 2019). "Coaches recall Marcus Stroman-Steven Matz matchup in high school". Newsday. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
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- "Matz, Herrera win Mets Minor League Players of the Year". Press & Sun-Bulletin. September 10, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
- Derespina, Cody (April 9, 2015). "Long Island's Steven Matz makes Mets Triple-A debut Thursday". Newsday. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- "Steven Matz will be called up by the Mets to pitch Sunday, sources say". Newsday. June 25, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- How bout this as your first pitch in the bigs? Batter didn't even have his bat up #Matz #Mets. June 28, 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2015 – via Twitter.
- CIN@NYM: Phillips homers off Matz in the 1st. August 29, 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2015 – via YouTube.
- Berkman, Seth (June 28, 2015). "Steven Matz, a New Pitcher, Rescues the Mets. With His Bat". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- DiComo, Anthony; Sheldon, Mark (June 28, 2015). "Matz's historic game helps Mets sweep Reds". MLB.com. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
- Guardado, Maria (June 27, 2015). "Steven Matz calls pitching for the Mets, the team he grew up rooting for, 'a dream come true'". NJ.com. Advance Digital. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Rubin, Adam (June 29, 2015). "Mets' Steven Matz pitches into 8th, goes 3-for-3 with 4 RBIs in debut". ESPN. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
- Rohan, Tim (July 10, 2015). "Mets' Steven Matz Is Out for at Least a Month With a Torn Muscle". The New York Times. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
- Puma, Mike (September 6, 2015). "Steven Matz's blister was a bother, but not a shock". New York Post. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- "Steven Matz settles down, stymies Yankees for six innings". ESPN.com. September 19, 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
- Marcus, Steven (April 8, 2016). "Steven Matz excited for first Mets' home opener". Newsday. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
- Albanese, Laura (June 2, 2016). "Steven Matz named NL Rookie of the Month for May". Newsday. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
- Ortiz, Jorge L. (November 15, 2016). "Dodgers' Corey Seager voted unanimous NL rookie of the year". USA Today. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
- "Mets' Steven Matz: Added to disabled list". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
- "Mets Activate Steven Matz From 10-Day DL". www.fanragsports.com. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
- "Steven Matz will have season-ending elbow surgery". NY Daily News. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
- Baer, Bill (August 21, 2017). "Steven Matz to undergo season-ending elbow surgery". HardballTalk. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
- 2018 Major League Baseball Baserunning/Situ | Baseball-Reference.com
- Braziller, Zach (July 4, 2019). "Steven Matz's bullpen debut for Mets wasn't very long". New York Post. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Honey, Ryan (July 3, 2019). "New York Mets LHP Steven Matz moving to the bullpen for now". Elite Sports NY. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- DeJohn, Kenny (August 20, 2019). "Steven Matz continues his strong stretch, gets win against Indians". Newsday. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Smith, Alex (July 27, 2019). "Mets' Steven Matz 'tremendous in every way' during first career shutout". SportsNet New York. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Abriano, Danny (August 21, 2019). "This minor adjustment has helped Mets' Steven Matz excel since All-Star break". SportsNet New York. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- DiComo, Anthony (July 27, 2019). "Matz shuts out Bucs in dominant 99-pitch outing". Major League Baseball. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- "Matz moving to overhauled Mets bullpen for now". ESPN. July 2, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Hersch, Corey (July 16, 2019). "Mets open interleague series with Twins behind Steven Matz, Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. on SNY". SportsNet New York. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Puma, Mike (July 22, 2019). "How Steven Matz finally found his dominant Mets ways again". New York Post. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Braziller, Zach (August 21, 2019). "Steven Matz has been very different pitcher since bullpen stint". New York Post. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Braziller, Zach (July 6, 2019). "Mets may turn to Steven Matz for Edwin Diaz relief". New York Post. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Joyce, Greg (July 27, 2019). "Steven Matz throws first complete-game shutout as Mets roll". New York Post. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
- "Matz, With First Career Complete Game, Makes Quick Work of the Pirates". The New York Times. July 28, 2019. p. SP 3. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Willis, George (July 28, 2019). "Steven Matz helps Mets fans forget about trade rumors for few minutes". New York Post. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Smith, Alex (July 27, 2019). "Mets Takeaways from Saturday's 3-0 win over Pirates, including Steven Matz's five-hit shutout". SportsNet New York. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
- Albanese, Laura (August 7, 2019). "Steven Matz finds success in slowing things down". Newsday. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Martin, Dan (August 7, 2019). "Mets' Steven Matz finds right pitch pace in bounce-back effort". New York Post. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Lennon, David (August 7, 2019). "After winning 13 of 14 games, hot Mets believe they can play in October". Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Healey, Tim (August 15, 2019). "Seth Lugo can't hold lead as Mets drop third in a row with loss to Braves". Newsday. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Roberts, Evan (August 15, 2019). "Evan Roberts On Mets: 'It Feels As If We Were Fooled'". WFAN (AM). Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Kernan, Kevin (August 15, 2019). "Mickey Callaway's fatal blunder may have just finished the Mets". New York Post. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Amato, Laura (August 22, 2019). "Mets' Steven Matz is true to those in blue with Nassau County police". Newsday. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- Ackert, Kristie (April 28, 2016). "Mets leadoff man Curtis Granderson gets most of the night off". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
- "Who has two thumbs and just got married? Mets lefty Steven Matz, that's who". MLB.com. Retrieved March 12, 2018.