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Matz available out of 'pen before Game 4 start

Left-hander could pitch in relief in Game 1 or 2 of NLCS

NEW YORK -- Noah Syndergaard may not be the only Mets starting pitcher moonlighting as a reliever. Manager Terry Collins said that rookie Steven Matz, the team's National League Championship Series Game 4 starter, is available out of the bullpen for Game 1 or 2 at Citi Field.

The idea was born less out of strategy than a desire to give Matz work. The left-hander's NL Division Series Game 4 start was his only appearance since Sept. 24, due in part to the upper-back injury that forced him out of his final regular-season start. With NLCS Game 4 scheduled for Wednesday in Chicago, the Mets would prefer for Matz not to have seven days of rest between starts.

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"We just talked today about trying in the next day or two to get him in the game somehow, if the situation works out," Collins said. "We're not going to put him in a situation where all hell can break loose."

In the past, Collins has talked about Matz's extended injury history, including a Tommy John surgery in 2010, as reason to avoid him out of the bullpen. But the Mets believe they can dictate a relatively stress-free scenario for Matz to pitch in Game 1 or 2, most likely turning to him to start an inning.

"If we have to use him," Collins said, "we'll use him."

Matz, who gave up three runs in five innings in NLDS Game 4, was 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA in six regular-season starts. He threw just 85 pitches in the NLDS.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.
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