The first is that Matz, who is a graduate of Ward Melville High School, was a local standout before he got a one-year contract with the Mets in April. The second is that if the Mets could win this game they’d win the National League pennant and be off to the World Series. Matz had pitched in just seven major league games before last night. Manager Terry Collins of the Mets must have had great confidence in him.
Matz’s performance was overshadowed by the efforts of Daniel Murphy who had before this hit home runs in five consecutive postseason games, tying the world record. He didn’t hit a home run in this game, until, in the eighth inning, in his last at bat he blasted a two-run homer over the left field wall.
There were other Mets heroes in this wild 8–3 victory. Lucas Duda, who had got only one hit in his last 19 at bats, came roaring out of his slump by going three for four with one home run and five runs batted in. And then there were the heroics of outfielder Curtis Granderson, closer Jeurys Familia and captain David Wright. It was quite a team effort.
Matz, looking comfortable and relaxed, threw 96 mph fastballs, huge curveballs and a sinking slider. While his mates built a 6-0 lead in the first two innings, Matz put Chicago down one, two, three. He did let up a run in the fourth, but regained his composure to get the first two batters out in the fifth. But when the third batter hit an easy fly ball that fell between two of the Mets infielders for a single, Matz tightened up, gave up another single, and the coach came out to the mound, thanked him, replaced him and sent him off to a well deserved rest in the dugout.
At this writing, we don’t know who the Mets will be playing in the World Series. But Matz, Collins says, will be in the rotation. We look forward to following this young man’s career.