PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Steven Matz will pitch once more before the regular season begins, and judging from a rough outing on Wednesday, the Mets lefty can use the tuneup.
In a 15-9 loss to the Marlins, Matz surrendered five runs on eight hits in four innings, his punishment for spotty fastball command.
“I’m glad I have one more start,” said Matz, who is lined up to start one of the Mets’ split-squad games on Monday.
Velocity was no issue. Matz topped out at 95 mph and sat in the 92-93 mph range. But he gave up ringing contact and cost himself a run by failing to look back a runner after fielding a bunt back to the mound.
“You try not to let this stuff bother you, but it’s never fun when you’re getting hit around,” said Matz, who threw 80 pitches for just 47 strikes in his fourth start of the spring. “Fastball command, that’s what spring training is really about. So I’m going to keep hammering away at that.”
The Mets clarified a few roster battles.
Righthanders Ben Rowen and Erik Goeddel were cut, taking them out of the running for the last bullpen spot. Infielders Gavin Cecchini and Matt Reynolds were optioned to the minors. Both had been bench hopefuls.
Outfielder Travis Taijeron was reassigned to the minors.
Heavy snow at West Point has prompted the Mets to move their March 31 exhibition game against Army to Citi Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m.
Tickets are $10, the Mets announced, with proceeds going to the Mets Foundation. But all active and retired military members with military identification can attend for free with one guest.
The Mets will round out spring training on March 30 with an 11 a.m. game in Port St. Lucie against players from Triple-A Las Vegas . . . Jay Bruce homered and stole a base in his return to action after he was scratched from his last scheduled start with a sore hip . . . Reliever Fernando Salas allowed a three-run homer in his second appearance since acquiring a work visa, which allowed him to pitch in Grapefruit League games.