Braves’ Tyler Matzek Had Crazy MLB Journey Before Postseason Heroics

Talk about resiliency


One of the best parts about sports are the stories of perseverance that come along with them, and Tyler Matzek has a great one.

The left-handed reliever was spectacular Saturday, throwing two innings of relief with four strikeouts in Game 6 for the Atlanta Braves, helping punch their ticket to the World Series against the Houston Astros.

Matzek entered the game in the middle of the seventh inning after the Los Angeles Dodgers had just cut Atlanta’s lead to 4-2. He had runners in scoring position on second and third, no outs, and used just 11 pitches to strike out each one — including Mookie Betts, who watched two-straight 75 mph fastballs go over the plate before swinging and missing the third.

He got another K in the top of the eighth, before forcing the next two batters into grounders to get the Braves on to the next inning. And as it turns out, his resilient journey to get here is just as impressive as his postseason heroics, as noted by Chris Castellani of Barstool Sports.

Matzek was drafted No. 11 overall by the Colorado Rockies in the 2009 Major League Baseball draft, making his debut in 2014.

He was released two years later in 2016, and suffered the same fate with the Chicago White Sox in 2017, Seattle Mariners in 2019 and Arizona Diamondbacks in 2019. Between stints with professional ball clubs, he even pitched for the Texas AirHogs of the independent American Association of Professional Baseball.

Fortunately, something stuck for him with the Braves in 2020, and the team benefitted from him greatly in 2021.

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