In his major league debut, Matzek took a shutout into the eighth
inning, leading the Rockies to an 8-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on
Taking the place of injured rookie Eddie Butler, who made his major
league debut Friday, Matzek brushed aside the Braves. He gave up two
runs and five hits in seven-plus innings with no walks and seven
"He went out there like he expected to do really well," Rockies
manager Walt Weiss said. "It always helps. It's more than half the
battle when you have that type of mindset."
Matzek (1-0) allowed just two singles through seven innings. He gave
up three consecutive singles and a run to open the eighth, then
received a standing ovation from the announced crowd of 29,112 when
Franklin Morales relieved him. One of the two runners Morales
inherited from Matzek scored on an infield hit off Morales' glove.
"The first inning I was really, really nervous," said Matzek, who
credited catcher Mike McKenry for "calming me down, telling me it
was the same thing as Triple-A, just go out there and play your
Matzek threw 94-96 mph with his fastball and 84-85 mph with his
slider, relying on those two pitches and mixing in an occasional
"We didn't do a good job of hitting strikes," Braves shortstop
Andrelton Simmons. "He didn't do much. He threw a fastball and a
slider the whole game pretty much, and we didn't hit. You've got to
give him some credit, but we've got to take some blame, too. You've
got to be better."
Matzek is the first Rockies starter to pitch seven innings since
Jorge De La Rosa did it June 3 in a loss to the Arizona
Diamondbacks, and he's the first to do it in a win since De La Rosa
on May 16 against the San Diego Padres.
Matzek is the third homegrown Rockies starter to win his major
league debut at Coors Field, joining Bryan Rekar in 1995 and Juan
Nicasio in 2011.
The victory was just the second in 13 games for the Rockies, who
have lost 21 of their past 29. The Rockies are 2-7 on a 10-game
homestand that ends Thursday.
The Rockies gave Matzek a $3.9 million signing bonus, which was then
a franchise record, after taking him 11th overall in the 2009 draft.
Control problems plagued Matzek, 23, at the outset of his
professional career. And while he showed significant improvement as
he rose through the minors, Matzek was still inconsistent this
season for Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he made 12 starts and
went 5-4 with a 4.05 ERA, 31 walks and 61 strikeouts in 66 2/3
However, Matzek showed impeccable command against the Braves,
throwing 60 of 81 pitches for strikes and going to three balls on
just two batters. Matzek also recorded his first hit, an infield
single in the seventh inning. He scored his first career run,
sliding home on shortstop Troy Tulowitzki's single that made it 8-0.
Braves starter Julio Teheran (6-4), who took the mound with a
major-league leading 1.89 ERA, gave up seven runs and 10 hits, both
season highs, in 6 1/3 innings. He had won a career-best four
consecutive games, with a 1.23 ERA in that span, but he gave up
three runs in the first inning Wednesday.
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First baseman Justin Morneau reached for a changeup and singled with
two outs in the first, and center fielder Drew Stubbs followed with
a double on what Teheran said was a misplaced slider. Left fielder
Corey Dickerson then tripled home two runs.
"It wasn't my day from the first inning," Teheran said. "I was
trying to compete the whole game. I know it was a tough day for me.
I'm just glad that I was able to compete and get through six
Dickerson drove in three runs with a triple and double, and Stubbs
had two doubles and two RBIs. Tulowitzki and Morneau each had three
hits, and second baseman Josh Rutledge had two hits and scored three
Matzek retired the first 13 batters he faced before Braves left
fielder Justin Upton lined a single off the glove of a leaping
Morneau and into right field with one out in the fifth.
Third baseman Chris Johnson followed with a single, but Matzek then
struck out second baseman Tommy La Stella and retired Simmons on a
Stubbs' sacrifice fly made it 4-0 in the third after consecutive
one-out singles by Tulowitzki and Morneau against Teheran. That was
more than enough breathing room for Matzek.
"He was locked in," Weiss said. "He has the ability to drive that
ball in on righties and throw the slider to the back foot off that.
It's a live arm."
NOTES: Braves C Evan Gattis extended his career-high hitting streak
to 12 games with a ninth-inning single. ... Rockies RHP Chad Bettis
was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs to clear space on the
roster for Matzek. Bettis was recalled Monday for his third stint
this season with the Rockies, pitched Tuesday and gave up four hits
and three runs in one inning. ... Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was
officially announced as a coach for the National League at the
All-Star Game in Minnesota on July 15. ... Braves LF Justin Upton
was in the lineup after leaving Tuesday's game in the first inning
with a left hamstring strain. ... Gonzalez said C Gattis and LF
Justin Upton would not be in the lineup for Thursday afternoon's
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