Heading into tonight's series opener between the Mets and Marlins, ESPN's Karl Ravech, play-by-play announcer for Monday Night Baseball and longtime host of the network's Baseball Tonight, is as high as anyone on Steven Matz. He thinks the Mets' chances of making the playoffs are very good, thanks in large part to the young lefty from Long Island.
"Any time the Mets are playing, at least one half of the pitching matchup is going to be good," he says.
Ravech recalls watching the Mets' starting rotation take batting practice during spring training and being impressed by how competitive the team's starting pitchers were with each other in that setting. And while the other young pitchers in the rotation—Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom—are obviously impressive, Ravech has Bartolo Colon as one of the most valuable fifth or sixth pitchers on any staff in the big leagues.
"As old as Colon is, relative to the twenty-four-, five-, and six-year-old guys, they do relate to each other on a level that none of us can relate to because they wear the uniform and they get on the mound," he says.
Regarding the Mets' lineup, Ravech likes it, too, and thinks David Wright can really make or break the lineup, based on how often he can play and how long he'll be healthy enough to stay in the lineup.
A big fan of Juan Uribe and his presence in a clubhouse, Ravech is a little surprised that the Mets didn't bring him back following last season. But he thinks Sandy Alderson is smarter than he often gets credit for in New York and, coming off the team's World Series appearance, isn't doubting that decision.
Ravech has the call tonight on ESPN and ESPN3/WatchESPN. To hear our full chat, listen to this week's episode of Amazin' Avenue Audio.