Tale of the tape, Game 4: Matz meets Young
Game 4 of the World Series should present a clash of starting-pitching styles when the Mets and Royals resume play tonight (7:30 ET air time on FOX, 8 ET game time) at Citi Field. Rookie vs. veteran. Lefty vs. righty. Electricity vs. deception.
Steven Matz and Chris Young are very much opposite in profile, yet both will take the mound in Queens with similar goals. For Matz, a win will mean evening the Series for New York at two games apiece, while Young is looking to lead Kansas City toward a 3-1 advantage.
Here's how the hurlers match up for Game 4.
Chris Young, Royals
Against the Mets
Career (including postseason): 4 GS, 1-1, 5.24 ERA
2015 (including postseason): 1-0, 0.00 ERA
Loves to face: Yoenis Cespedes, .083 (1-for-12), 3 K; David Wright, .100 (1-for-10), 3 BB, 2 K;
Hates to face: Michael Cuddyer .400 (2-for-5), 2 2B.
Why he'll win: Young earned the win in Game 1 after tossing three shutout innings of relief, striking out four along the way. The Mets had trouble adjusting to Young's unusual repertoire -- upper 80s fastballs coming from his power 6-foot-10 frame and high arm angle. "He hides the ball well," Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores said.
Pitcher beware: The Mets know Young, who played for the organization from 2011-12, well. The righty will also be on three days' rest. Though he has posted strong numbers on such rest over his career (2.50 ERA), the small sample size (18 innings) makes it difficult to consider them a trend.
Bottom line: Young completed six innings in just nine of his 18 starts this season, and lasted just 4 2/3 in his only start this postseason. He doesn't routinely work deep into games, so expect to see Danny Duffy or Luke Hochevar before long.
Steven Matz, Mets
Against the Royals
Career: Matz has never faced the Royals in his career.
Why he'll win: The Long Island native will have a slew of family and friends at Citi Field rallying behind him. Matz, 24, features a mid-90s fastball, power curve, plus changeup and impressive polish for a young hurler. He excelled in limited action during his rookie year, pitching to a 2.27 ERA over six starts.
Pitcher beware: By some measures, the Royals fared better against lefties than righties this season. Kansas City posted a higher batting average and on-base percentage against southpaws. Meanwhile, Matz's star has fizzled somewhat this postseason. He's combined to throw just 9 2/3 innings in two playoff starts.
Bottom line: The Mets believe a well-rested Matz presents a better option than bringing righty Matt Harvey back on short rest. Matz will be making his ninth big league start and third this postseason, in a super-charged atmosphere.