Pitching prospect Steven Matz goes 3-for-3 in MLB debut with a double, four RBIs
Steven Matz is the Mets pitching prospect who can also hit (whose name is not Noah Syndergaard). Following in Thor's footsteps, the 24-year-old Matz made his MLB debut as a starting pitcher on Sunday and brought his bat (well, actually former teammate Matt Reynolds' bat) to the ballpark with him.
At the time he got the call to the bigs, Matz was hitting over .300 at Triple-A Las Vegas and wasted no time getting started on a solid career at the plate in Flushing. After a Eugenio Suarez error in the bottom of the second and an intentional walk of Eric Campbell, Matz stepped up for his first MLB plate appearance and promptly doubled to deep center field:
Perhaps the most impressive part of that hit is that Matz managed to overshoot the range of Reds speedster Billy Hamilton, which is no small task.
For his next trick, Matz was asked to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but instead worked the count full and knocked a hit-and-run single through a hole on the left side:
Did you think he was done? Because he wasn't done. In his third big league at-bat, Matz lined a single over the leaping Brandon Phillips to drive in another two runs. Grandpa Matz was just a little bit excited:
He gave up two runs and drove in four while setting a Mets record for RBIs in a debut -- by any player, not just by a pitcher.
After the double, SNY reporter Steve Gelbs tracked down Matz's parents in the stands at Citi Field and asked them about their son's performance. Matz's father confessed that pitching always came easy for his son, but hitting was his passion growing up.
Grandpa Matz also gave a pretty emotional interview after the game was over:
On the other side of the ball, Matz performed admirably, scattering just five hits and two runs while striking out six over 7 2/3 innings in the 7-2 Mets victory.
Additional reporting via Andrew Harts / MLB.com Real-Time Correspondent