June 28, 2015: Matz Stands Out in Debut

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Date: June 28, 2015
Mets starter: Steven Matz
Mets: 7
Reds: 2
Winning pitcher: Steven Matz
Key player(s): Steven Matz, Curtis Granderson
Key play: Matz' double and two-run single, Granderson's double and single

The Mets faced the Reds on a Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. Following the completion of a suspended game from a day earlier, the teams played the finale of a weekend series. In his major league debut, Steven Matz pitched seven and two-thirds innings and aided his own cause with four RBIs as the Mets defeated Cincinnati, 7-2.

Leading off the top of the first inning, Brandon Phillips hit a home run against Matz for a 1-0 Reds lead. Steven retired three of the next four batters to close out the inning and Cincinnati starter Josh Smith pitched a scoreless bottom half. Matz set down the side in order in the top of the second and Darrell Ceciliani reached on shortstop Eugenio Suarez's error to begin the bottom of the inning. Ceciliani moved around to third base on a pair of infield ground outs and Eric Campbell was walked intentionally. Matz followed with a double that brought home Ceciliani and Campbell, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead. Smith then retired Curtis Granderson on a line drive to left fielder Marlon Byrd for the inning's third out.

Matz recorded two strikeouts in a perfect top of the third. Smith set down all three Mets hitters on outfield fly balls in the bottom half and Todd Frazier connected for a game-tying homer to open the top of the fourth. Jay Bruce drew a walk and Byrd flied out to right fielder Granderson. Brayan Pena grounded back to Matz for an inning-ending double play and Johnny Monell singled with two outs in the bottom half. On his own hit, Monell was out at second base via a throw by right fielder Bruce to Suarez to end the inning.

Matz yielded just a single to Suarez in the top of the fifth. Campbell drew a walk to begin the bottom half. Matz singled and advanced to third base on Granderson's double that plated Campbell for a 3-2 Mets lead. Ruben Tejada flied out to Bruce and an intentional walk to Lucas Duda ensued. Smith then got Wilmer Flores to fly out to Bruce and threw a called third strike past Ceciliani to close out the inning.

Matz retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth. John Mayberry singled against Reds' reliever Pedro Villareal to open the bottom half. Monell hit a single and Campbell was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Matz delivered a single that scored both Mayberry and Monell, extending the Mets' lead to 5-2. Granderson was retired on a fly ball to Bruce. Tejada hit a force play ground ball to third baseman Frazier on which Campbell came home via an errant throw by second baseman Phillips. Villareal then got Duda to fly out to center fielder Billy Hamilton and finish off the inning.

Matz shut down the Reds in the top of the seventh. Villareal hurled a perfect bottom half and Joey Votto drew a two-out walk against Matz in the top of the eighth. Mets' reliever Carlos Torres got Frazier on a force play grounder to shortstop Tejada that ended the inning and Campbell walked against Villareal with one out in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Michael Cuddyer hit a force play ground ball to Frazier and stole second base. Granderson singled to drive home Cuddyer with the Mets' seventh run of the game. Cincinnati reliever Burke Badenhop then retired Tejada on a line drive to right fielder Jason Bourgeois for the inning's final out.

Pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker singled against Mets' reliever Hansel Robles to lead off the top of the ninth. Byrd popped out to Tejada and a strikeout of Byrd followed. Robles got Suarez to fly out to left fielder Ceciliani and bring the game to an end. The Mets had a series-sweeping victory on Matz's highly successful debut.