Steven Matz appears to be like well-suited for October baseball as he spins a gem for Blue Jays

Steven Matz’s teammates had the Barrio Jacket ready for him as he returned to the Blue Jays’ dugout for the ultimate time Friday evening. Matz earned the consideration by fashioning his finest sport of the season.

The left-hander turned in his longest outing of 2021 — seven innings plus two batters within the eighth — and set the tone for the ultimate collection of the common season. The Jays remained one sport out of the second American League wild-card spot with a 6-4 victory at Rogers Centre. They’ve two video games remaining, on Saturday and Sunday.

It is uncommon for a Toronto pitcher to don what’s the centerpiece of the Jays’ house run celebrations. Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae famous that Robbie Ray is the one different starter to have gotten the jacket remedy.

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“That was the very best I’ve seen him throw in a very long time, simply the command, how aggressive he was within the strike zone,” Orioles supervisor Brandon Hyde stated of Matz, who allowed six hits, walked one and struck out 5. “He had a extremely good breaking ball. He made it actually robust on our hitters.”

Toronto’s offense purchased Matz additional time on the mound because it scored 4 runs within the backside of the sixth to stretch the Jays’ result in 6-0. There was warmup motion within the bullpen within the high half as Matz started to undergo the Baltimore order a 3rd time.

He obtained via the seventh earlier than permitting a house run and a stroll to steer off the eighth. He exited to a standing ovation after which the jacket.

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“It is what you wish to really feel, going into this time of the yr,” Matz stated, per the Toronto Star. “It’s Oct. 1, you wish to be pitching in essential video games. It is undoubtedly a very good feeling. The group is superior right here. You undoubtedly get a bit adrenalin increase.”

The 30-year-old Matz is aware of a bit bit about essential video games in October: He pitched 3 times within the postseason his rookie yr with the Mets; the final look was a begin in Sport 4 of the 2015 World Sequence.

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His first season with Toronto, which acquired him in an offseason commerce with New York, was robust early and late. He went 4-1 in April and 6-1 in his final 12 begins. He recorded a career-high 14 wins (most by a Jays pitcher in 5 years) and a 3.82 ERA in 29 begins total. The center of his season was affected by a optimistic COVID-19 take a look at.

“I felt good about my stuff immediately,” Matz stated, per The Related Press. “Actually, the secret all yr for me has been fastball-changeup and dealing off that stuff. In the present day I had the curveball going as nicely.”

Issues had been going so nicely for Matz on Friday, he threw simply 88 pitches. Which means he may be capable to squeeze in another regular-season contribution. There may very well be an all-hands Sport 162 on Sunday — a sport Matz helped to make extra potential with a classy efficiency in Sport 160.

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