Steven Matz picked a perfect time to regain his pitching mojo blanking the Marlins 3-0 to take the rubber match of their crucial three games series.
The forlorn lefty, 0-5 in his last nine starts, found solace on Sunday tossing six innings of 4 hit 6 strikeout ball, recording his first victory since May 25th ending the longest drought of his young career.
After a disappointing outing by Jacob deGrom on Saturday, NY capitalized on another Nationals loss, to get within 5 games of the NL East leaders, and within ½ game of the Marlins for 2nd wild card spot.
In the 5th, with runners on the corners, Matz dodged the dangerous swing of Giancarlo Stanton jamming him with a 2-0 curveball resulting in a ground out to Asdrubal Cabrera thwarting a 2 out rally.
“I didn’t want to make a mistake where he could extend his hands and hit the ball out of the ballpark with two runners on there.” Matz said. “With 2-0, Rene [Rivera] called a curveball. I just kind of threw it up there and it was a fastball count. It wasn’t a bad miss. I was able to get him to ground out.”
The Mets keep getting bang for not a lot of bucks from Jose Reyes who delivered a go ahead run scoring triple in the top of the 3rd, bringing Michael Conforto across home plate.
2-2 today, with a sensational first time in center field diving catch, Conforto is performing like an understudy who wants to steal the leading role from the star originally cast. He’s 5-11 in five games since returning from a three week demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas.
The swing which went astray has come back to haunt opposing pitchers, the key to his success he stated is that he’s not trying to pull the ball.
Conforto further added, “Just getting back to the kind of hitter that I feel like I am and use the whole field, take what the pitcher gives me. “When you go down there, you get a chance to take a breath and really look at what’s going on and work on some things. It was a positive for me to go down there and work on some stuff.”
Marlins starter Jose Arena kept Miami in it almost matching Matz, albeit for surrendering one run on 4 hits in his brilliant six-inning outing.
But his replacement in relief, Kyle Barraclough could not prevent Yoenis Cespedes and James Loney from providing RBI singles in the eighth to pad NY’s lead lead by 3.
Hansel Robles and Addison Reed did their due diligence, keeping the shut out alive in their consecutive turns on the mound, paving the way for the Mets closing act, Jeurys Familia who put the Marlins down in order for his 35th league leading save – the 51st consecutive one since August 1st of last year.
On Monday, NY will get a taste of home field cooking with Noah Syndergaard firing up the grill in the first of a three game series against St Louis.