New York Mets

New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz fought through six innings on Friday night. This could loom large for the young left-hander.

By David Hong

24-year old New York Mets rookie pitcher Steven Matz made the biggest start of his career against the Yankees at Citi Field Friday night. Not only was this the Subway Series, which is always huge in New York City, but both the Mets and the Yankees are competing for a playoff spot. So, naturally, Citi Field had a playoff-like atmosphere to it.

Matz, who grew up a Mets fan in Stony Brook, Long Island, and watched plenty of Subway Series games on TV, clearly looked nervous in his Subway Series debut. He gave up a run in the first and overall, gave up seven hits in six-innings. To his credit though, he gutted it out, getting out of innings with Yankee base-runners on and looked stronger as the game went on.

Overall, his control wasn’t consistent and he may have relied too much on his curveball rather than his fastball which is his best pitch. Nerves could be to blame in this regard. But Matz, whose worst inning was the first inning, looked better and got out of a sixth-inning jam after Wilmer Flores made an error at shortstop, taking too much time in throwing to first which resulted in Didi Gregorius legging it out.

More importantly, this start was huge for Matz’s psyche.

Getting a taste of what the playoffs would be like, he now has more experience on his belt and if the Mets reach the playoffs, he can potentially get a start with all the starting pitching uncertainty the Mets might face.

Matt Harvey would get a start, but how many innings he’ll pitch remains a question mark. deGrom will also get a start, but he has been inconsistent lately. Syndergaard, Colon and Niese are still up in the air as well.

If Matz can finish strong he can potentially get a start in the playoffs, and with Matz winning the Subway Series Opener and gaining experience in his belt, it could definitely help him in October.

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Other than God, sports are my biggest love. My teams are the Mets, Knicks, NY Giants, NY Rangers and St Johns basketball (St. John's alumni). I especially love the Mets like crazy, more than any other team and seeing them win the World Series would be a dream come true and definitely the best sports moment. The Knicks are a close second. I also like to write, so combine that with my passion for sports equals a perfect scenario, I would love to do sports writing long term. If not that, then probably sports broadcasting, cause I love to talk sports as well. In addition to writing for ESNY, I'm also currently writing for Metsmerizedonline.