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Seth Lugo to start for Mets on Thursday if Steven Matz can’t

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Matz underwent an MRI this morning.

New York Mets v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

As the New York Mets await the results of Steven Matz’s MRI this morning, manager Terry Collins indicated the team would insert Seth Lugo into the rotation for a start this Thursday if Matz can’t go. Matz, whose start was scratched this past Friday due to shoulder discomfort, has also been dealing with bone spurs in his left elbow since late June.

Lugo, 26, has pitched effectively out of the bullpen this season for the Mets and replaced Matz this past Friday against the San Francisco Giants. Lugo dueled with Johnny Cueto and fared well, logging a quality start despite taking the loss. Lugo was able to go 6.2 innings while holding the Giants to three runs.

While not dominant, Lugo does have the stuff to keep games close for the Mets as they continue their uphill battle for a playoff spot. Lugo worked in his four-seamer and sinker effectively, offsetting them with a changeup, slider, and curveball. Most impressively, Lugo seemed comfortable throwing all five of his offerings over the course of the game, keeping opposing hitters off balance. His fastball topped out at 96.5 MPH but sat closer to 93 for most of the game.

The Mets are set to begin a three-game set on Tuesday with the St. Louis Cardinals, who are currently in position to grab the second Wild Card spot. Either Matz or Lugo will take the final game against Adam Wainwright, who is in the midst of his worst statistical season to date.