Steven Matz feels ready for Game 4 despite limited recent work
Steven Matz will start game four of the National League Division Series at Citi Field on Tuesday night.
He has not started in a game since facing the Reds in Cincinnati more than two weeks ago thanks to a sore back. He’s only logged a simulated game at the team’s minor league complex in Port St. Lucie since injuring his back, but said he feels good and is ready for his greatest challenge to date.
“I felt really good and strong finishing up in the intrasquad game down in Florida,” he said. “So I’m happy with how that went. I threw a bullpen yesterday and still feeling good. So yeah, everything is good.”
“I have a job to do tomorrow, and that’s what I’m going to focus on is to help my team win this game,” he explained. “I’m taking the emotions out of it, treating it like any other game. You prepare for this point, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
Matz feels pitching in the Subway Series in mid-September, under the spotlight, has helped him prepare to pitch on the national stage in the playoffs on Tuesday night in game four.
“I think that did help me a lot because now this won’t be the first time I’ll be pitching in front of a crowd like that,” he said. “So now it’s kind of like I’ve been there and I feel like I’m ready to do it.”
Matz – a lifelong Met fan – is trying to keep the experience in perspective to focus on the job he has to do for his team come Tuesday.
” You want to be playing this time of year, and like I said before, I’m not really looking at it as a fan. Kind of taking the emotions out of it. We’ve got a job to do and I got a job to do tomorrow, and that’s win the game. So that’s just the way I’m looking at it.
Still, Matz is excited to be pitching in the playoffs for the Mets.
“This is great. Postseason baseball is where you want to be,” he said with a smile.