Steven Matz‘s last start against the Cardinals was bad. His start against the Rockies on Sunday? Dreadful.
The lefty could not record an out in the second inning en route to his third loss of the season. He gave up seven earned runs on nine hits, one walk and one long home run to Nolan Arenado.
“It all happened so quick, to be honest,” Matz admitted. “The balls were just over the heart of the plate, and they were able to get their barrels to it. I was giving them a chance with where I was missing.”
His velocity was fine, his mechanics were fine – physically, everything was fine. His command was the issue as he missed the catcher’s target too many times. Instead of missing inside or outside, however, he was missing right down the middle. That was pitching coach Dan Warthen’s interpretation of the game, who told manager Terry Collins.
“I don’t care how good your stuff is,” Collins said, “you can’t do that in this league.”
Something that Matz had been exceptionally good at upon his return from the disabled list was his command of his off-speed pitches: His curveball, change-up and increasingly rare slider.
“It’s something I may need to get back to, working that curveball and changeup more and trusting my stuff versus going to their scouting report and relying on that more,” Matz said.
“It’s just not the way you write it up,” Matz continued. “It’s frustrating, but I’ve got to flush it. I got another start coming up in five days, and I’ve got to prepare for that and try and learn from my mistakes here and just keep going.”
Steven’s season ERA jumped from 3.05 to 4.58 in this start. Overall, he is 2-3 in seven starts having pitched 39.1 innings, striking out 25 and walking 11.