Matz of Action for a Sunday

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Steven Matz impresses on the mound and at the plate in his debut.
Photo Courtesy: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke/NY Daily News

Baseball sure knows how to wrap up a week.

Sunday featured two doubleheaders created by mother nature the day before.

The Nats and Phils split a pair. Ryne Sandberg quit as the Phillies manager on Friday. Come to think of it, the Hall of Fame second baseman also quit the Cubs as a player in 1994 and was a DNP in 1995. If memory serves me he had some family concerns to address. He did resume his Cubs’ career for two more years in 1996-1997.

I can only guess red hot rookie Maikel Franco (.304/349/.559), who drove in three more runs on Sunday, wasn’t exciting enough to keep Ryno (119-159) around as the talent dwindled and losses mounted. Bench coach Pete Mackanin is the interim manager for the Phillies. Somewhere, Jeff Francoeur is homering and singling in a run against Stephen Strasburg, but struggling to find the handle on the ball in right field. It’s been that kind of year for last place Philadelphia baseball.

The other doubleheader saw the Orioles blanking the Indians 12-0 over two games as Jason Kipnis’ (.342/.418/.503) 20-game hitting streak came to an end. The doughnut for the Indians clearly hints that the Orioles had strong starting efforts. Eight scoreless innings for Ubaldo Jimenez in game one. Seven scoreless innings for Chris Tillman in game two. Just like that the Orioles and Rays are tied for first in the AL East.

Two more homers were hit by Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado.

Ho-Hum. Arenado (.293/.326/.632) had three two-homer games this past week and seven total. The 24-year-old has hit eight home runs since last Sunday as his breakout season chugs along. Arenado had 28 home runs in 2013-2014 combined spanning 244 games. This season he’s hit 24 round trippers in 73 games. The Rockies still lost on Sunday to #MadBum who hit his second home run of the season.

Two extra inning games.

The Angels beat the Mariners 3-2 in 10-innings because the M’s waste most of King Felix’s scoreless efforts. “The Bartender” Tom Wilhelmsen threw a wild pitch with Kyle Kubitza batting, allowing Kole Calhoun to run home for victory. Really wanted to use Tom’s nickname from his closer days as a Mariner and the word Kubitza in a complete sentence.

The Mets began their day by winning the conclusion of a suspended game against the Reds in 13-innings on the always exciting Lucas Duda walk-off fielder’s choice to score Dilson Herrera.

AND there was another impressive MLB debut.

It seems like every week another freshly minted major leaguer makes an impression during their debut or shortly thereafter. Sunday it was the New York Mets turn after they completed their extra inning affair.

Steven Matz, pronounced Not-Dill-on-Gee, made his major league debut for the Mets as part of that six-man rotation they have going on in Queens. Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Sid Fernandez, Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese, Noah Syndergaard, and @Smatz88.

The Long Island native only surrendered runs on a leadoff homer to the Reds’ Brandon Phillips and on a fourth-inning dinger by the ToddFather, his 25th, who homers just as much a Arenado. At some point during All Star weekend Todd Frazier and Nolan Arenado need to square off in the new home run derby format that will still consist of eight sluggers, but will be a head-to-head single elimination tournament with timed matchups.

Back to Matz. He featured a 96-mph heater and high-70s curve. He went 110-pitches, which allowed him to complete 7.2 IP with six strikeouts to earn his first major league victory. What seemed to excite his family the most was his three hits at the dish, including a two-run double in his first major league at bat. Ultimately he netted four RBIs to aid the Mets 7-2 win.

Matz is the first pitcher and first Mets player to drive in four runs in his debut. In case it matters, Doc Gooden drove in four runs for the 1990 Mets. The southpaw Matz will be sticking around to face the Dodgers next weekend. He was previously discussed here at SportsRants.com by Mike Addvensky. The Mets (40-37) trail the Nationals by two games in the NL East. The Mets recently lost seven in a row, but have won four straight.

 

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