Cardinals Pitcher Leaves Game After 4 Pitches

Trouble is brewing for the St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Steven Matz. He lasted just 4 pitches before leaving Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates with stiffness in his left shoulder. He heads to the IL with a "shoulder impingement."

Matz seemed to know that something was just not right when he took the mound, but because of a shorthanded bullpen, he said he decided to try to gut it out: 

“An 11:30 (AM) game, bullpen has been taxed & I thought I’d stay with myself & try to get through it & get some outs, but I just didn’t feel like myself,” said Matz afterwards.

He's undergoing an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury. 

He was replaced in the game by Angel Rondon, who made his first appearance of the 2022 season, and performed quite admirably on the last-minute assignment. He pitched 5 innings of 1-hit shutout ball and picked up the win. Unfortunately, he's now been optioned back to Triple-A, and the team has recalled highly-touted prospect Matthew Liberatore. 

Matz signed a 4-year, $44M contract with the Cardinals this past offseason, and has not gotten off to an ideal start with his new team. He's sitting on a 6.03 ERA after nine starts. 

Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports