Mets' Matz turns in seven scoreless innings

Long Island native takes no-hit bid into the sixth in St. Lucie's 6-1 win

Steven Matz made two scoreless appearances in the Grapefruit League this spring. (Gordon Donovan/

By Josh Jackson / | April 17, 2014 11:37 PM ET

It's hard to imagine what Steven Matz might have done Thursday if he hadn't been working in more comfortable conditions.

"It was super humid and hot, and your hands are all moist when it's humid like that," he said. "Once I got out there, I was OK, but [the humidity] definitely took a little bit out of me."

Despite the heavy air, the Mets' 11th-ranked prospect carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and ended up surrendering two hits and a walk while whiffing six over seven shutout frames in Class A Advanced St. Lucie's 6-1 win at Fort Myers on Thursday.

"My command was there. I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes," Matz said. "My fastball and changeup and the contrast between the two was really working for me, and I was able to keep them down and in the zone."

Matz (1-1) got seven consecutive groundouts from the first inning through the third, and he was perfect until he walked the Miracle's Dalton Hicks with two outs in the fourth. He notched his third strikeout to end that inning.

Fort Myers ended the no-hitter with a two-out bunt single by Levi Michael in the sixth.

"I was pretty annoyed" to lose the bid on a bunt, Matz admitted. "It was only a 2-0 game then, so you've got to do what you've got to do.

"Looking on the bright side, I was getting a little tired and it gave me a little adrenaline kick. "

The 22-year-old lefty then gave up the only other hit he allowed, a bloop single by No. 8 Twins prospect Jorge Polanco.

"I threw a good pitch, but he got his hands inside of it pretty good and was able to pop it over [second baseman Robbie Shields'] head," said Matz, who sports a 2.00 ERA. "[Pitching coach] Phil Regan came out and gave a mound visit. He calmed me down a bit and gave me a breather, said it was a big out. I realized I was only going to seven, so I went right after the next batter."

He ended the frame by getting Hicks to bounce out and worked a perfect seventh, striking out the last batter he faced, Travis Harrison.

"It was a good feeling to get that last punchout to finish the outing," Matz said. 

The southpaw, whom the Mets selected out of a Long Island high school with their second-round pick in the 2009 Draft, has been impressive since making his pro debut -- which was delayed by Tommy John surgery -- in 2012. Last year, he recorded 121 strikeouts and walked 38 in 106 1/3 innings for Class A Savannah. He's posted 17 strikeouts while walking only three in 18 innings this year.

"That's something I struggled with coming in -- with my command," Matz said. "All the way from the top to the bottom in this organization, our pitching coaches are awesome. It's something we all work on with them, and it's helped me a lot. It just seems like everything's gotten much easier since I've been able to locate my three pitches."

New York's No. 10 prospect, Dilson Herrera, singled, knocked in a run and scored in the win.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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