LHP Steven Matz lost for the fourth time in his last six starts after giving up five runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings during Sunday's 8-0 loss to the Dodgers at Citi Field.
Matz hasn't won a game since June 28 and is winless in his last seven outings.
He is 0-4 with an 11.03 ERA in his last six starts.
"It's shocking," Terry Collins said after the game. "This guy has way too good stuff."
The 26-year-old Matz gave up a two-run Logan Forsythe single and an RBI double to Austin Barnes in a three-run first inning. In the third inning, he surrendered a two-run home run to Justin Turner. Matz eventually settled down, retiring the final eight batters he faced. However, he received no run support as Hyun-Jin Ryu limited the Mets to one hit through seven innings.
"I got to make better pitches with guys on," Matz said after the game. "That's what's been getting me, pitching with guys on. Not cracking down and stepping up. It's not easy to go through these little bumps. I'm trying to stay positive and get my work in so I can get back and help my team win and not put us in a hole."
Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me): I don't doubt that Matz is a major part of why he's been struggling. However, from what I see, for weeks now he's been telegraphing his off-speed pitches and having his fastball get crushed because of it. It isn't helping that the fastball has been flat.
So, as I've wondered before, is it him, is it health and focus, or is it pitch selection and game-calling and mechanics, the last three of which fall under pitching coach Dan Warthen? Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey were having a similar issue when they were able to pitch earlier in the year. And yet, there never seemed to be an adjustment. Like with Matz, it just keeps happening, start after start after start.
Aug 3, 2016; Warthen (38) talks with Matz (32) at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The point I'm making is that I think it's time to reconsider Warthen's status as pitching coach. I know the guys have enjoyed working with him in the past. But, they've also enjoyed working with Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola, who has expressed a major interest in being a big-league pitching coach one day. Viola interviewed with the Orioles and Twins, who eventually went a different direction. But, he's valued enough to get a look, and he clearly has fans in Matz, Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Syndergaard, all of whom have talked openly and positively about him in the past.
I don't know enough about the entire situation to say Warthen should be replaced by Viola. But, given the results this season (not as it pertains to injury, but as it pertains to what has happened on the mound), the situation has to be looked at by Sandy Alderson and whomever his manager will be in 2018 (whether Collins or someone else).