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Steven Matz 'fantastic' despite blister on finger

Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz delivers a pitch

Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz delivers a pitch against the Braves during the second inning of a game at Citi Field on Sunday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Steven Matz threw 102 pitches in six innings in the Mets’ 2-1 loss to the Braves on Sunday and was “fantastic,” according to manager Mickey Callaway.

After the game, Callaway revealed that Matz has been pitching with a blister on the middle finger of his left hand. So any thoughts of Matz going deeper in the game had to be shelved as the blister got worse.

That hurt the Mets when Paul Sewald gave up Josh Donaldson’s second home run of the game in the seventh. It turned out to be the margin of victory.

“It’s been pretty much coming the whole second half,” Matz said of the blister. “Just something I have to manage.”

Stroman “very likely”

Callaway said Marcus Stroman was “very likely” to start on Tuesday against the Cubs. Stroman, who was forced to leave his last start after four innings because of hamstring tightness, went through running and fielding drills before Sunday’s game. Stroman already has vowed not to miss the start.

 Diaz “slightly improved”

Edwin Diaz wasn’t going to pitch on Sunday after appearing in the previous two games. So the Mets were OK with waiting for clarity on the tight trapezius muscle in his neck and back that forced Diaz out of Saturday night’s loss to the Braves.

Callaway said Diaz felt “slightly improved” on Sunday morning. The Mets chose not to send their deposed closer for any medical tests, and Diaz said on Saturday night he didn’t expect to land on the injured list.

Leading man

Amed Rosario remained in the leadoff spot even though Jeff McNeil returned to the lineup for his first start since coming off the IL on Saturday. McNeil hit second against Braves lefthander Dallas Keuchel and went 0-for-3 with a hit by pitch.

“I think the lefty, more than anything, came into play,” Callaway said. “I do love the way Rosie has performed. We all know he’s had a lot of success there.”

 Rosario went 1-for-4 and is batting .315 as a leadoff man this season.

Extra bases

Rene Rivera went 0-for-2 with a walk in his first start behind the plate since being called up on Saturday to replace the injured Tomas Nido (concussion)  . . . The Mets recalled righthander Chris Mazza from Triple-A Syracuse and sent down righthander Chris Flexen  .  .  . Brandon Nimmo went 3-for-4 with two doubles and played all nine innings in center in a rehab game for Triple-A Syracuse.


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