Steven Matz is ‘ready to go’ after pitching five innings in simulation game
After dealing with back stiffness over the last week, Mets left-hander Steven Matz took a big step forward on Thursday afternoon in Port St. Lucie, throwing 80 pitches over five innings in a simulated game.
“I felt really good,” Matz told TC Palm’s Jon Santucci. “I took two weeks off, so I was a little rusty the first couple innings, but I feel really good, really strong. My arm feels great, back feels great.”
The aforementioned rust showed for Matz early in this game, as he threw 50 pitches over the first three innings in which he allowed two runs and four hits. The 24-year-old lefty was able to shake that off, however, firing 30 pitches in his next two-plus innings.
“He was nasty,” Mets infielder Eric Campbell said on Matz’s outing. “He’s ready to go.”
Matz echoed that sentiment, telling Santucci after his outing that he was “ready to go,” and his back felt good. While the Mets will wait until tomorrow to make the decision whether or not Matz will be well enough to make the NLDS roster, it would appear that this is a very positive sign that he’ll be good to start in Game Four of the series.
Quite obviously, this would be terrific news for the Mets as not only would they be adding Matz’s arm to their starting rotation, but they would also likely avoid having to go to Jacob deGrom on three days rest or starting Bartolo Colon in Game Four of their upcoming series against the Dodgers.
Over the course of his outing on Thursday in St. Lucie, Matz was routinely hitting 93-94 MPH on his fastball, per Santucci, as well as having good action on his curveball.
If Matz is not ready to go for the NLDS, left-handed reliever Sean Gilmartin would take his place on the postseason roster as Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said earlier this week.
But Terry Collins said in Los Angeles on Thursday Matz is on-track to pitch in game four right now, although they have to wait and see how he responds to this outing.