The Week That Was: Mets’ Matz Mess

In my 2020 Mets preview I wrote how Mets #3 starter Steven Matz has had been inconsistent through his five seasons in Flushing. He could dominate hitters one game and get hit like a pinata by them in the very next.

So far in this pandemic-shortened season Matz has been consistent–consistently awful that is. On Saturday night he failed to make it through the fifth inning against the Phillies in Philadelphia in a game the Mets lost, 6-2. That left Matz with an 0-4 won-loss record but with an even more humiliating 9.00 earned run average.

With the injured Noah Syndergaard gone for the season and Marcus Stroman opting out for 2020 because of coronavirus concerns it’s imperative Matz finally prove he’s a legitimate big league starting pitcher. He has gotten more latitude than he’s deserved because he’s a left-handed thrower and the Mets for some reason have ben reticent to stock up on southpaws. The fact Steven Matz grew up on Long Island is an asset since professional sports franchise likes to have ballplayers who are from their area but that’s not enough of a reason to give Matz a lifetime scholarship.

Mets catcher Wilson Ramos is also having a rough season as he has struck out an inordinate amount of times while struggling to hit .200.

Ramos was the target of frustrated Mets fans Friday night when in the ninth inning  he failed to tag out Phillies runner Roman Quinn who scored the winning run on a base hit by Bryce Harper. Mets rightfielder Michael Conforto made a spot-on throw to Ramos which appeared to beat Quinn but Ramos was late in applying a swipe tag resulting in the 6-5 loss.

Wilson Ramos should have made the play particularly since Quinn made such a wide turn from third base trying to score. In his defense, recent rule changes have made it harder for catchers to block home plate on these kinds of plays. COVID-19 fears have also reduced the incentive to make physical contact with another athlete.

Tuesday night was big for Turner Sports as two of its talent from “Inside The NBA,” Ernie Johnson and the irrepressible Charles Barkley, won Sports Emmy Awards.

I feel badly for Kenny Smith, who grew up in Lefrak City and played at Archbishop Molloy and enjoyed an 11-year playing career in the NBA, because he will always be overshadowed for Emmys by both Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal on that show even though he provides no-nonsense NBA insights.

Kevin Connors, who provided sports updates on WCBS radio for years, lost his battle with multiple sclerosis last week. Connors had a great voice and always found a way to infuse wit into the dry world of reporting scores and transactions and was liked by all who knew him.

Speaking of excellent sports update anchors, WFAN’s Mike McCann is an excellent amateur photographer. You can view his “Field of Fotos” as well as terrific baseball trivia at

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