The Reds' lineup is typically strong against lefties, but one would not have known that while watching Steven Matz's major-league debut Sunday.
The southpaw from Ward Melville allowed two runs, five hits and three walks and struck out six in 72/3 innings in the Mets' 7-2 win over Cincinnati at Citi Field.
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Matz allowed home runs by Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier, but that was the extent of the damage done by the Reds, whose non-pitchers entered the game with a .769 OPS against lefties (fifth-highest in the majors).
"It's not a lot of fun on this end to be talking about the great game that another player had on a different team," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "But he did have a great day. Certainly that would be the debut anybody would want."
"He's got a lot of energy. I'd be hyped up too in New York," said Frazier, a New Jersey product who went 1-for-3 against Matz. "You really just have to tip your cap to him."
"He was challenging. He had a good fastball and a good curveball," said Joey Votto, who entered with a .288/.394/.511 overall slash line and an .851 OPS against lefties but went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a walk against Matz.
After Phillips homered to lead off the game, Matz retired nine of the next 10 Reds before Frazier led off the fourth with another home run. The Reds got only three runners past first during the rest of the game.
Matz did not make life easy for Cincinnati's pitchers, either. He went 3-for-3 with four RBIs, becoming the only player since 1914 to have at least three hits and four RBIs without recording an out in his major-league debut.
"I'm not surprised. He's a good athlete," Reds starter Josh Smith said.
Price agreed but also said, "We didn't anticipate him coming up and having the type of day he did offensively against our pitching staff."
Frazier said he is looking forward to the challenge of facing Matz again, adding, "The more he pitches, the more he works with his catchers, he's going to be a really good pitcher. And if he keeps hitting the ball like that, he'll be in the Hall of Fame. We'll see what happens."