Opinion

Mets’ Steven Matz will try to win one for his home team in Game 4

New York Mets Game 4 pitcher Steven Matz is from Long Island.
New York Mets Game 4 pitcher Steven Matz is from Long Island. AP

Steven Matz grew up on Long Island and was drafted by the Mets in the second round following his senior year of high school.

And on Saturday, he’ll commute from his parents’ house to Game 4 of the World Series at Citi Field, where he’ll be the starting pitcher for his favorite team as a youngster. He’s been staying there since making his major-league debut this summer.

“It’s actually amazing,” said Matz, 24. “It’s (a) pretty big blessing.”

Matz was born five years after the Mets’ last World Series championship in 1986 and graduated from from Ward Melville High School in 2009, nine years after the Mets’ last World Series appearance, a five-game loss to the Yankees in 2000.

“The Subway Series was a lot of fun to watch,” he said, adding that his favorite Mets player was always changing but included Johan Santana and Mike Piazza, who will throw out the first pitch of Game 3 on Friday night.

The following night, it will be Matz throwing from the pitcher’s mound.

“This is where you want to be in baseball. This is the dream,” he said. “This is what you write up in your backyard when you’re playing Wiffle ball.”

Matz, a 6-foot-2 left-hander, debuted with the Mets on June 28, allowing two runs in seven innings of a 7-2 win over Cincinnati at Citi Field. He won his next start, an 8-0 win at the LA Dodgers, in which he struck out eight in six innings, but missed the next two months after sustaining a slight muscle tear in his back.

He returned to make four starts in September, becoming the first Mets pitcher to allow two or fewer runs in each of his first five starts. But Matz was scratched from his final regular-season start because of back stiffness.

Matz made one start in the postseason, the final game of the Mets’ four-game sweep of the Cubs in the National League Championship Series in which he received a no-decision after allowing one run and four hits in 4  2/3 innings, striking out four and walking two. He primarily throws three pitches, a mid-90s fastball, a curveball in the upper 70s and a mid-80s changeup.

Chris Fickett: 816-234-4354, @ChrisFickett

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