New York Mets' starting pitcher Steven Matz smiles while making an appearance in the dugout during of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens
September 22, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) The already short-handed New York Mets saw their playoff chances dealt another significant blow when left-hander Steven Matz was scratched from his scheduled start Friday because of shoulder soreness.

Matz, 9-8 with a 3.40 ERA, hasn't pitched since Aug. 14 because of tightness in his left shoulder but threw a bullpen session Wednesday and was set to return.

General manager Sandy Alderson said the rookie's shoulder again felt sore, one day after the bullpen session.

''We'll see where this takes us,'' Alderson said. ''But for the next several days, that shoulder issue has to resolve itself before we would consider pitching him again.''

Right-hander Gabriel Ynoa, in line to follow Matz on Friday, will instead make his second major league start. The Mets had tweeted an advertisement featuring a returning Matz on Thursday, but it was quickly deleted.

New York began the night tied with St. Louis and San Francisco for the two NL wild card spots. They already are missing pitchers Matt Harvey (thoracic outlet syndrome), Jacob deGrom (ulnar nerve), third baseman David Wright (neck surgery) and second baseman Neil Walker (back surgery).

Noah Syndergaard is pitching with a bone spur in his pitching elbow and Asdrubal Cabrera (knee) and Yoenis Cespedes (quadriceps) are playing with lingering injuries.

''I'm feeling some symptoms,'' Matz said. ''At this point, I don't have an answer. ... I know the difference between soreness and pain,'' he continued. ''This is a little different than regular soreness.''

Manager Terry Collins said it would be difficult to select Matz for a playoff start.

''It would be hard to get him enough innings that you could consider starting him in the postseason,'' Collins said. ''We'll just have to wait to see what the next few days have in store. When you're talking about the shoulder, you're talking about serious territory, so it's got to really calm down before we'd consider getting him back out there.''

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