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Steven Matz expects Marcus Stroman to compete 'like he always does' in Citi Field debut for Mets

Steven Matz, left, and Marcus Stroman of the

Steven Matz, left, and Marcus Stroman of the New York Mets in the dugout against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on Aug. 5, 2019. Credit: Jim McIsaac

On June 28, 2015, Long Island’s Steven Matz made his major-league debut in front of family and friends against the Reds at Citi Field. He allowed only two runs and five hits in 7 2/3 innings in getting the victory.

That’s why Matz said on Wednesday that he didn’t have any words of wisdom for six-year veteran Marcus Stroman, the fellow Long Islander who will make his Citi Field debut on Friday against the Nationals in front of family and friends and tens of thousands of Mets fans who would like to be his friend.

"I’ve got no advice for him,” said Matz, the winning pitcher in Wednesday’s 7-2 victory over the Marlins. “He’s an All-Star. He’s pitched in the playoffs. He’s a great competitor, a great pitcher, so he fits right in here. He’s only going to help us.”

Stroman, who lasted only 4 1/3 innings in his first Mets start in Pittsburgh on Saturday, has pitched 10 times in New York – but at Yankee Stadium, not Citi Field. The former Toronto Blue Jay is 2-6 with a 6.13 ERA in the Bronx.

Matz said he believes Stroman will be able to control his emotions on Friday – even though Stroman is known as an emotional guy.

"I think for all of us it’s just the same game,” Matz said. “You can’t make it any bigger than that. You’ve got to just take what you’ve been working on into the game. I think he pitches with emotion anyway and it’s part of his game. I don’t think it’s going to be any different. I think he’s going to go out there and compete like he always does.”

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