Steven Matz' struggles are not getting in the way of his optimism.
The Mets lefthander had by far his worst outing of Spring Training on Friday, allowing eight runs, including four home runs, on seven hits and a walk in just two innings of work in his latest start against the Washington Nationals.
Matz, though, knows what the problem is and said that it is better he identifies and works through it now rather than when the season starts.
"I've been leaving the ball up in the zone," Matz said after his outing. "When the ball is up it's going to be tough to keep the ball in the park, especially with a lineup like theirs. It's part of the process here in spring ... It's a good mental note -- I gotta keep the ball down. That's huge for me."
Matz, 27, is coming off a season in which he threw a career-high 154 innings. He now has a 10.97 ERA in 10.2 innings this spring but did not seem to indicate that the problem was anything physically.
He said he spoke with pitching coach Dave Eiland who told him that it is a minor adjustment he needs to make and the southpaw is confident he can fix it soon.
"I've been here before. I know I can correct it," he said. "It's good this stuff happens now. Especially now hitters get their timing down and you're not beating guys with a fastball up. They're letting you know when you keep that ball up they're going to be able to get their barrels to it. It's a really good reminder to work between starts to get that ball down in the zone and that's where I'm most effective."