Matz’s last outing had been a disaster in which he could not make it through four innings against the St. Louis Cardinals. It had prompted Mets Manager Mickey Callaway to question Matz’s poise in stressful game situations and even hedge on whether he would remain in the rotation.
A subsequent episode of back stiffness caused the injury-prone Matz to miss a start. As a result, 10 days passed between that rocky game in St. Louis and his return to the mound on Saturday night at Citi Field, against the Colorado Rockies.
“His stuff is there,” Callaway said before the game. “He can be an elite left-handed pitcher if he has the right mentality to overcome things that happen during the game. We’ll find out tonight.”
Whether it was the extra rest, the manager’s subtle verbal jabs or his underlying talent, Matz came up with his finest performance of the season, limiting the Rockies to one run on three hits — Nolan Arenado’s first-inning home run — over…