PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Traditional statistics don’t matter in spring training, the conventional wisdom says, but that didn’t stop Steven Matz from becoming frustrated after turning in a second rough exhibition outing in as many tries Sunday.
The lefthander yielded five runs and recorded only two outs against the Nationals in the Mets’ 7-3 loss.
“You want to see results,” Matz said. “Even though it’s spring training, you want to see results. You don’t want hitters to get hits off you. I don’t care if it’s live BP or in a game or in the regular season. It’s definitely frustrating.
“I feel healthy. I feel good and strong. I’m able to get a lot of work in between starts, so that’s what I’m going to keep doing.”
As was the case in his first game, a couple of the hits off Matz were softly hit, which makes them easy to chalk up to bad luck. Harder to ignore were the two walks Sunday and four walks across the two games (out of 17 total batters).
Manager Mickey Callaway said the Mets are not concerned about Matz, who he said lacks conviction in his pitches.
“When he’s throwing the ball right now, he has a little doubt when he’s letting it go on where it’s going to go, if they’re going to hit it,” Callaway said. “That’s really all I see. He’s been working so hard. I know it’s frustrating for him, but we’re not worried. We just want him to go out there and continue to work. He’s got good stuff. He knows how to pitch. He’ll get to where he needs to be.’’
Bruce bashes one
Jay Bruce hit his first homer Sunday, and he thought that was all well and good, because who doesn’t like to mash a dinger?
But Bruce also made sure to note that there was another pitch he swung at that he probably should not have.
“Any time you hit the ball hard, it feels good,” Bruce said. “I’m not necessarily concerned with home runs in spring training or anything like that. It’s about making the right decisions right now at the plate . . . My second at-bat today, the 3-2 pitch I hit to centerfield [for a flyout] was probably a ball down. In a perfect world, I take that and walk. So that’s the kind of stuff I’m looking at in spring training.”
Bruce is 3-for-8 in four games.
Shortstop Amed Rosario (left knee irritation) is expected back in the lineup Tuesday, Callaway said . . . First baseman Dominic Smith (strained right quadriceps) is further away but took batting practice Sunday. “He’s doing great compared to what we might have thought,” Callaway said.