On Friday evening, a big piece of the Mets' past ran into their future.
Rookie Tylor Megill out dueled old friend Steven Matz and the Blue Jays in a 3-0 Mets victory.
Megill just keeps getting more impressive every time he takes the mound. And last night, he tossed six shutout innings and two-hit the Blue Jays, who entered the contest with the No. 2 ranked offense in baseball.
The 25-year-old picked up his first career win along with his first hit on a single off Matz in the fifth, which got him a nice standing ovation. He also joined Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan as the only other Met to throw two shutouts in their first six career starts. During this span, Megill has a 2.10 ERA and 33 strikeouts.
“It started with [Megill] joining us with a need that we had. … But this guy is here and he’s here to stay,” said Mets manager Luis Rojas after the game. “He’s put us in a position to win a lot of games already. Excellent."
“This kid, I think I’ve said this before, he’s doing what we’ve asked of him and a lot more.”
At this point, you can't underestimate how much of a godsend Megill has been in the Mets' injury riddled starting rotation. And Megill, who began the season with Double-A Binghamton, is now feeling confident after helping his team win for the 5th time in his first six starts.
“It just shows to myself that my stuff plays at this level,” Megill said. “I go out there thinking I’m the best man out there. There’s no reason to be scared out there. You’re there for a reason, so go out and pitch. Every time I’m out there I think I’m gonna get everybody out."
“You shouldn’t have the mindset of worry or doubt. Go out and serve it up and let ’em hit it, mano a mano.”
What's even more important, is that Seth Lugo, Trevor May and Edwin Diaz were able to toss a combined three scoreless innings behind Megill with just one hit allowed. Diaz, who entered the contest with three consecutive blown saves, looked more like himself in a perfect 1-2-3 ninth to notch his 20th save of the season.
After winning 7-0 in their series finale over the Reds on Wednesday, the Mets completed a shutout win in back-to-back games for the first time all season.
On offense, First baseman Pete Alonso welcomed his former teammate back to Citi Field with two-run home run off of him in the bottom of the first, which was all of the offense that the Mets needed to grab a victory over Matz. Alonso later crushed his 21st homer of the year on a 450-foot bomb off Blue Jays reliever Ryan Boruki in the bottom of the eighth.
Matz admittedly told reporters that this start at his old home was an emotional one for him. The lefty spent six seasons in Queens from 2015-19 and was a critical part of their rotation, which helped them reach the '15 World Series.
“Definitely had some emotions out there, had a lot of family here, but after that first inning, I was able to settle down and go back to work,” said Matz, who is a Long Island native.
The Mets started off their 11-game home stand on the right note with a win over the 'Jays. New York is now 29-14 at Citi Field, which is a big reason why they currently hold a four game lead in the NL East. They will look to clinch the series with Toronto on Saturday night with Taijuan Walker facing his old team.