The Gnats have beat up on the worst team in the SAL the last two days and have now won five in a row as the team tunes up for the playoffs, which begin on Wednesday.
Final Playoff Tuneup Starts
Friday, Steven Matz, who is scheduled to start game two of the playoffs made his final regular season start: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K with 8 groundouts and zero flyball outs. Matz dealt with a small strike zone by SAL standards and did not work a 1-2-3 innings, but kept the Drive off the board through five innings. He walked two batters in the first inning, and settled down thereafter. It appeared to me that he hit his spots better when he had men on base. If he had enough innings to qualify – he’s five short – Matz’s 2.62 ERA would be good enough for third in the SAL. His health, low-mid 90s velocity, leftiness, effectiveness, and feel for his changeup are enough to make him one of the top Mets pitching prospects.
Saturday, Luis Cessa, who is scheduled for game three of the playoffs, if the Gnats get that far, fired a complete game to begin the doubleheader: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K. I missed this start because I was broadcasting football, where I saw Georgia Southern beat Savannah State 77-9. Yup, it was lopsided: 11-1 in touchdowns. Southern run a fake punt up 63-9 with under five minutes left. Stay ho.
Lineup Lengthening Herrera
Dilson Herrera has hit safely in three of his five games as a Gnat since the Mets acquired him from the Pirates. He’s 5-for-13 (.385) with a walk and three strikeouts almost all from the cleanup spot.
Nimmo, still Nimmo-ing
CF Brandon Nimmo doubled off a lefty on Friday and was 2-for-5 with a walk on Saturday. He finished August at .324/.473/.412 in 32 games, thanks to doubleheaders. .