Utilityman Ryan Freel opts for retirement

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ryan freel.jpg34-year-old Ryan Freel has chosen to retire after playing in nine games in the independent Atlantic League, according to Mike Ashmore of the Hunterdon County Democrat.
After the Reds dumped his contract following the 2008 season, Freel washed out in the Orioles, Cubs and Royals organizations last year, hitting .193/.290/.216 in 88 at-bats.
While he never established himself at any position, Freel was a very valuable player for the Reds from 2004-06. He hit between .270-.280 with OBPs in the .360-.380 range all three seasons and stole a total of 110 bases.
Freel, though, had big problems staying healthy after 2006. It was certainly in part due to his reckless style of play on the field, yet there were also concerns about how he was handling his affairs off the field. Freel was charged with DUI in 2005, and he was arrested in 2006 on disorderly intoxication charges.
Freel finishes his career with a .258/.354/.369 line and 143 steals in 1,983 at-bats.

Steven Matz homers in back-to-back starts

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Mets starter Steven Matz helped his own cause again, belting a solo home run in the top of the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Matz turned on a 1-1 breaking ball from Cy Young contender Aaron Nola, breaking a scoreless tie.

Matz also homered in his previous start against the Marlins last Thursday. According to MLB Stat of the Day, he is the third Mets pitcher to homer in back-to-back starts, joining Tom Seaver (1972) and Ron Darling (1989).

Matz is the fourth full-time pitcher to hit multiple home runs this season, joining the Reds’ Michael Lorenzen (four), and the Cardinals’ John Gant and Miles Mikolas (two each). The last Mets pitcher to hit multiple home runs in a season was Noah Syndergaard, who hit three in 2016.

Along with the bat, Matz has also been dealing on the mound. As of this writing, he has held the Phillies scoreless over five innings despite walking five batters and allowing two hits.