Steven Matz #32 of the Mets pitches in relief against...

Steven Matz #32 of the Mets pitches in relief against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Two of the Mets’ most ineffective pitchers went on the injured list Sunday.

Steven Matz is dealing with what the club called “left shoulder discomfort,” though he should get a more specific diagnosis Monday, when he is scheduled to see a doctor.

Dellin Betances experienced right lat tightness Saturday when he handed the Yankees the win with a walk-off wild pitch. That is one of the body parts he hurt last year, when he pitched in just one game. Betances also is expected to see a doctor Monday.

“It is a surprise. I was feeling so good coming in,” said Matz, a former Ward Melville star. “I was feeling so good — even when I was struggling with my results, my arm was feeling strong and healthy. I’m pretty bummed about it, definitely.”

Matz said his shoulder started bothering him more than two weeks ago, before his most recent start — Aug. 15 in Philadelphia (not the five or so days ago that manager Luis Rojas said). He suspects it was triggered by working too much as he tried to solve the problems that have resulted in an 8.63 ERA.

“I think I overdid it a little too much between my starts, throwing-wise, and I felt a little something but didn’t think anything of it,” he said. “Then after the Philly game I felt it more. Then at that point that’s when I said something.”

That also was when the Mets demoted Matz to the bullpen for the second time in as many years. Rojas and Matz said the physical issue and the changed role were unrelated. Matz added that he believes the shoulder problem was “definitely not” connected to his on-field struggles.

Dellin Betances of the Mets pitches against the Yankees in Game 1...

Dellin Betances of the Mets pitches against the Yankees in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on Friday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

When the Mets returned from their coronavirus shutdown last week and Matz still was feeling it, they sent him for an MRI, which revealed “inflammation [and] a little bit of bursitis,” Rojas said.

Matz deemed himself ready to pitch after a few days off. As he pitched a scoreless inning of relief Saturday against the Yankees, his shoulder bothered him again. He has not gotten another MRI yet.

“Everything seemed to be structurally fine and got to a spot to where I told them I was good to go out of the bullpen,” Matz said. “I guess I maybe wasn’t ready to ramp it up yet.”

It came just as Matz was mentally adjusting to being in the bullpen. His desire is to be a starter in the future, but he said he has “tried to make the best of the opportunity.”

“Like, 'OK, here's the next thing I got to do,' " He said. “I'm not going to pout. I'm going to work hard. And I'll try to help the team win in that capacity. That really was my mindset. Unfortunately, I'm dealing with the shoulder discomfort.”

The Mets called up righthander Franklyn Kilome (long reliever) and Drew Smith (3.00 ERA in seven games) to take the bullpen spots.

Nunez still hurting

Infielder Eduardo Nunez, out for the past month with a left knee contusion, is progressing slowly but working out at the alternate training site in Brooklyn, according to Rojas.

He added that Nunez previously experienced a similar injury in his right knee, and when he came back too fast it got worse, so this time he is being cautious.

“I’m in touch with him,” Rojas said. “He tells me all the time how hard he’s working.”

Extra bases

J.D. Davis left the Mets’ game Sunday night with a left hip issue, Rojas said. That is the same spot he got hit by a 98.5-mph Aroldis Chapman pitch earlier in the Yankees series. Rojas said he expected Davis to be fine . . . Rojas on playing five games in three days, as the Mets did this weekend: “Not ideal.” They are scheduled to play the next 10 days before a Sept. 10 day off . . . Righthander Ariel Jurado, acquired from the Rangers via trade on Aug. 5, was the Mets’ 29th man for their doubleheader Sunday. He did not pitch.


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