Coming into the 2017 season, a given seemed to be the deep pitching rotation the Mets have prided itself on. A force to be reckoned with, and one that would not falter.
Well, that’s where the game of baseball comes in. Things didn’t exactly go the way the Mets had planned for a plethora of reasons.
With subpar pitching performances for a majority of the season, the Mets made a point to change their fortunes on Saturday.
Robert Gsellman toed the rubber for the Amazin’s in the matinee match of a day-night doubleheader on Saturday and delivered his most solid performance of the campaign.
The 23-year-old fired 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowed just three hits and walked two while striking out four.
Gsellman has delivered four straight quality performances and has allowed just six earned runs in his last 25 innings.
But the real pick-me-up the Mets rotation needed came in the second leg of Saturday’s doubleheader as Matz made his long awaited season debut.
Matz looked comfortable on the mound and dominated Braves hitters, tossing seven strong innings, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out two and walking one.
“I was able to locate the fastball away today,” Matz said. “I didn’t really have my greatest, sharpest stuff, but I felt like I was able to execute my pitches when I needed to.”
In his first start in 10 months, Matz turned in a promising performance that he can build on for his next go-around and hopefully, the rest of the season.
“The command of his stuff. I mean, he used his changeup behind in the count a couple times,” said manager Terry Collins on Matz. “He threw those two lefties, 3-2 changeup for strikes, out in front. We know he’s capable of that. Saw a team that is swinging the bats very, very good. They took some bad swings against him.”
The Mets will get another one of their promising young arms back on Sunday as Seth Lugo will make his season debut and look to give the Mets a victory in the finale at SunTrust Park against the Braves.