Mets rookie Steven Matz scratched from Thursday start

PHILADELPHIA (AP) New York Mets rookie left-hander Steven Matz has been scratched from his scheduled start on Thursday against the Philadelphia Phillies because of a back injury, putting his playoff availability in question.

Matz had been slated to pitch in Wednesday's game, then was pushed back a day when he woke up Tuesday with a sore back following a poor night's sleep. Manager Terry Collins said Wednesday the back issue was lingering.

Matz is 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA and 34 strikeouts in six starts. He didn't pitch for the Mets between July 5 and Sept. 6 because a partial muscle tear in his left side. The current injury is on the opposite side of his back.

The NL East champion Mets open the playoffs on Oct. 9 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Matz was in line to be their No. 4 starter.

''We have to make a determination if he's going to fit or not,'' Collins said.

Collins said he could use Matz in a relief role this weekend to determine the pitcher's fitness.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.