"Eat more bananas. Drink more water," Matzek said after the Rockies hung on to defeat the D-backs, 5-4. "The dry air here just sucks it all out of you."
Matzek was sailing along with a 5-2 lead when he took the mound to start the bottom of the sixth inning. As he warmed up, he felt his left hamstring begin to cramp. After throwing a ball to Yasmany Tomas, Matzek knew he'd had it.
"It's was just cramping up," he said. "It cramped up on a few of those warmup pitches and on the first pitch of that inning, and I didn't want to push it."
As he was standing in front of his locker after the game, Matzek said he was fine. The trainers had used some electronic stimulus on the leg, and there might be some prescribed rehab on Tuesday. Otherwise, Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he considered the injury to be a short-term thing.
"Yeah, he'll make his next start," Weiss said. "I expect him to make his next start."
There was no hint of a problem during the top of the inning. Weiss sent Matzek out to hit with the bases loaded and one run in.
"He's a good hitter. That was part of it, but I didn't want to go to the bullpen in the sixth inning," said Weiss, who had to go to Brooks Brown, Rafael Betancourt and John Axford to win the game. "We had a three-run lead at the time. With a lead like that, we're trying to play defense. Didn't want to go to the bullpen quite yet. Ideally, we're trying to get through six before we hand the ball off to the bullpen. But it cramped up."
Matzek grounded out to second to end the inning and felt no wear and tear as he bounded down the line.
"I didn't feel it running down the line, or anything like that," Matzek said. "It was just that during those warmup pitches that it started cramping up."
Before exiting, Matzek did what he usually does: hold clubs at bay. The left-hander has allowed two or fewer runs in 10 consecutive starts, the third-longest active streak in Major League Baseball. On Monday night, he gave up two runs on five hits with three walks and as many strikeouts over five-plus innings.
The D-backs scored twice in the fifth to snap a 20-inning scoreless streak for their offense. But Matzek had only thrown 80 pitches when he left, so certainly there was more there to give if the leg hadn't started bothering him.
"He did a good job. He's kept the opposing team from scoring this year," Weiss said. "He's had some baserunners, but he's made pitches. He keeps us in position to win games."