For the third straight outing Steven Matz looked lost on the mound appearing like he did at times in the past few years where he simply could not limit the damage in that one bad inning.
On this night that inning was the fifth inning where the Phils plated 5 runs as the big blow in that frame was a bases clearing double off the bat of Ryan Hoskins. The body language of Matz on the hill illustrated his frustration and he talked about that after the game saying, ” I am real frustrated because I think I was putting my pitches where I wanted for most of that inning but still issued walks to 2 hitters setting the stage for that mistake pitch to Hoskins.”
To be perfectly candid I thought Matz had turned a new leaf from what I saw in summer camp as he rediscovered his curve ball and had an air of confidence on the mound that I hadn’t seen since 2016. But in his last three starts-2 vs the Nationals and this one last night I see the old Matz who gets in that one tough inning and never recovers.
And with a deleted rotation due to injuries and opt outs, Matz needs to find some answers and fast. He is too important a piece to this team as many feel he slips in as the #2 behind Jacob deGrom but he can not fill that role if he continues on his current path. In fact from what I see, rookie David Peterson currently fits that #2 role much better than Matz at this point of the season.
The other thing that concerns me is the home run ball which have been alarmingly high. In 2020 he has pitched in 23 innings and served up 9 gopher balls-far too many for any starting pitcher let alone one that you believe is #2 in your rotation. And his emotions both on the mound and in the dugout illustrate he is searching for something he just can not find right now. If the Mets had more rotation depth I would even suggest time in the bullpen but we all remember how poorly that worked when the Mets tried that with Matt Harvey.
The bottom line is the Mets just can not keep throwing him out there every fifth day until he straightens out and possibly a rotation of deGrom, Peterson, Porcello, Lugo and Gsellman will be the answer until Matz finds his way. In a shortened season like this, you simply can not give games away every fifth day in the manner in which Matz is doing right .
Please listen to post game Zoom audio below.