Colorado Rockies fans are well aware of the story of Tyler Matzek’s long and winding road to return to the mound this season. Now it’s time to cheer for the former Rockies pitcher to get a ring with the Atlanta Braves.
There are plenty of good stories for Colorado Rockies fans left in the postseason. DJ LeMahieu (you know, the guy who won the National League batting title in Colorado before heading to New York and (insert sarcasm here) becoming such a great player) is still raking for the New York Yankees after winning the American League batting title in Gotham. The first player in the modern era to win batting titles in both leagues, there are plenty of folks who would love to see LeMahieu earn a World Series ring.
Colorado fans may cheer against the Yankees, but you’d find very few who would cheer against LeMahieu.
While Rockies fans may still have a soft spot for LeMahieu, perhaps the best story still remaining in the postseason with Colorado ties is Tyler Matzek, who last pitched in the Majors for Colorado in 2015 before resurrecting his career this season with Atlanta.
Call it performance anxiety or the yips or whatever you want, but there was a period of time when it looked like the 11th overall pick by Colorado in the 2009 draft was done on the mound. But years of working to overcome those demons (and a reunion with former Colorado manager Walt Weiss, now a coach with Atlanta) has Matzek not only back on the mound, but dominating as well.
In three postseason appearances with the Braves, Matzek has allowed just two hits in 3.1 innings of work and has struck out eight while not issuing a walk. He opened Atlanta’s NLDS matchup with Miami by striking out the side, showcasing why the southpaw is a weapon coming out of the Braves bullpen.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres in the other NLDS bracket, and the Braves holding a 2-0 lead over Miami heading into Thursday’s game, Rockies fans will likely have an extra reason to cheer for Atlanta when the NLCS kicks off. How sweet would it be for Matzek to continue to impress against one of Colorado’s division rivals under the national spotlight?
Darren O’Day on Tyler Matzek:
“I’ve nicknamed him The Death Star. I’m a Star Wars fan — I grew up in that era — and the empire built this secret weapon that came in and could destroy anything. Right-handed, left-handed, Matzek can throw a fastball and curveball by both of them.”
— David Laurila (@DavidLaurilaQA) October 7, 2020
In a year where Colorado fans were able to see up close the amazing return of Daniel Bard (after seven years away from the game) to the mound after battling control issues of his own, it’s good to see another pitcher with Colorado ties providing his own inspirational tale. And to be able to do it in a year when we all need some good news is even better.
Keep proving those who said you were finished wrong, Tyler. You have plenty of support coming from Colorado.