Two straight embarrassing losses, a fall from the top of the division, a stagnant offense, a lost pitching staff. Who to turn to?
Well, why not Rookie of the Year frontrunner Steven Matz?
After the first inning, suffice it to say that things didn’t look good. A two-run home run given up to Chris Carter, to the deepest part of the park for the second straight night, put us behind early for the second straight day, and left a bleak outlook as the game began.
But Steven Matz isn’t going through Matt Harvey’s struggles. In fact, he’s doing just the opposite. He’s blazing, amazing, forging a trail rarely followed by Mets pitchers, let alone rookies.
He’s won six straight ballgames, the first Met since R.A. Dickey to do so, and in those six, has a 1.35 E.R.A, and has averaged 9.45 strikeouts per nine innings. Since his E.R.A. stood at 37.20 after his first start — “he looks like he needs some time in the minors,” said an anonymous scout, proving if nothing else that scouting is far from perfect — it’s come down every start.
Even tonight, he made one bad pitch. Outside of that, he pitched 6.2 scoreless innings and allowed two hits.
Even with Harvey’s woes, we’ve still got Thor (4-2, 2.19), deGrom (3-1, 2.50), and Matz (6-1, 2.81). Remind me how we’ve lost 18 games?
We had Matz providing the pitching — not to mention a little offense, which is always a nice something extra — but for a while, the offense continued its listless, unproductive drear. With men on first and third, only one out, Rene Rivera hit an RBI groundout, the almost the least productive RBI possible.
And then, finally — FINALLY — Michael Conforto broke out.
It wasn’t the type of beautiful, almost musical Conforto home run we’re used to — it was more of a pop-up that had carry. Nevertheless, it did the job. Conforto was back on track, and we were back in the lead.
Inevitably, after scoring only five runs in three days, questions have come about the offense — why aren’t we scoring? What are we going to do? But honestly, I prefer not to dwell on them.
We won today. Everything else is secondary. Why waste time on the negatives?