Gut reaction: Mets 2, Nationals 0 – 5/25/2016

Steven MatzThe Mets took the away series with the Nationals behind the dazzling pitching of Steven Matz. The young lefty was in control from start to finish, delivering eight shutout innings, that included retiring 16 batters in a row at one point. He struck out seven and allowed just four singles and a walk. Matz cruised through the first 7 2/3 innings until Michael Taylor got a seeing eye single and Bryce Harper, who had the day off, stepped in as a pinch hitter and the potential tying run. Matz smoothly got him to ground out. Whew! Jeurys Familia made it interesting in the 9th, coughing up two hits before shutting it down for his 16th save.

David Wright got the Mets offense going with a solo homer in the first inning. Rene Rivera contributed an RBI single in the 7th for an insurance run. One down note in this game is that Asdrubal Cabrera left in the first inning with back spasms. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious because our infield is already dangerously thin. With Travis d’Arnaud, Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores already on the disabled list and Curtis Granderson hitting .199, the Mets are going to need pitching performances like this to win for a while. The Mets have the day off tomorrow before beginning a home series with the Dodgers on Friday.

7 comments for “Gut reaction: Mets 2, Nationals 0 – 5/25/2016

  1. Metsense
    May 25, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    The Mets and Nationals, two of the best teams in the NL. were locked into a very good game. The Mets were in need of the win to stay even in the head to head series. Matz provided a stellar pitching performance and rose above the occasion and kept the Mets focus away from the Harvey distraction.
    The “washed up” David Wright with his National League sixth best among third baseman 116 wRC+ started it again with a home run. That wRC+ puts him ahead of nine other NL third baseman. Rene Rivera, who is 2 for 2 with a runner on third with less than 2 out situations, knocked in the second run. He also threw a dart to second and caught a base theft. He deserves to start on Friday.
    This rivalry is shaping up to be a great division race.

  2. Jimmy P
    May 25, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    I thought sending up Harper vs Matz in 8th was a tactical mistake by Baker, but upon reflection I can see that his hand was forced by circumstances. Harper vs Matz not a good matchup.

  3. DED
    May 25, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    So, Brian, can we agree that Matz is a big game pitcher? As I recall, a year or so ago you were not terribly impressed with my conclusion, in which I cited his work in the 2014 Eastern League playoffs, when he pitched the deciding game for Binghamton after having been playing AA ball a scant two months.

    Your thought was, as I recall it, that the game was attended by 10,000 or fewer fans, and therefore didn’t count. But a big game is a big game, whether it’s a big high school matchup, a AA playoff game or the rubber game against a key rival. “Big” and “Well Attended” are not necessarily the same thing, and I would trust Matz in any situation.

    • May 25, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      Matz pitched great today. Like he has in the great majority of his starts in the majors. I’m thrilled he’s on the Mets.

      Under no definition in anyone’s book that is to be taken seriously is a day game in May considered a big game.

  4. Name
    May 25, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Since April 15th

    Pitcher A: 7 games 48 IP, 1.13 ERA
    Pitcher B: 8 games 55.1 IP, 1.95 ERA
    Pitcher C: 8 games 64 IP, 1.55 ERA

    A is Matz, B is Bumgarner, C is Kershaw. He ranks up there with the big boys.

    Fun fact: He he has given up less runs in the last 7 starts combined than in his first start.

    In fact, his 1.13 ERA in 7 consecutive starts is the lowest among Met starters since RA Dickey in 2012 from May 17th to June 18th (0.66 ERA), which was the stretch when he had his 32.2 scoreless inning streak.

  5. Jim OMalley
    May 25, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    We now have 2/5’s of our rotation achieving the stellar pre-season expectations. Who will be the next to string some of these PQS performances together.

  6. Chris F
    May 26, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    How amazing to see a killer lefty starter on this team. It seems like every start we get to see from Matz gives us the reason to dream. As the dream started to morph into reality, I decided to open BBRef to look his numbers over. Whats not to love? With 15 more IP this year in the Bigs compared to last year, every big number is moving to the positive. Love it. Until one thing caught my eye…

    I added up his IP from 2015 between minors and majors and it was 141. Yes folks, 141. Play that out for this year…its pretty common to add about 30ish innings. That takes him to a slender 170. I think with the post season for Harvey last year, he was at 219, 50 more on top the projected max for Matz.

    We are back to innings management…and I hope we see this scattered through the season, because if there is any hope to see him pitching in Oct, something will have to give.

    Thoughts?

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