In his second starts, J.J. Matijevic made Father’s Day even more special to his father, Joe, notching his first big-league hit.
In his second start and second stint in the majors, Houston Astros‘ J.J. Matijevic finally recorded his first Major League hit. Matijevic was called up for the last several days in April and registered one pinch hit on April 22 and one start on April 27.
Matijevic went 0-for-5 in his first stint with the Astros, not the big showing from the Sugar Land Space Cowboys’ big bat. To date, the lefty has hit 12 home runs and driven in 35 while hitting .313 for Triple-A Sugar Land.
In Game 66 of the 2022 regular season, Matijevic got his second ever start as an Astro, and in the fourth inning with nobody on and two outs, the 26-year-old notched his first Major League hit off of a Michael Kopech 94 mph fastball with a blast into the Crawford Boxes.
The lefty’s opposite-field blast was celebrated by his teammates in the dugout, and it also helped the Astros win the day versus the Chicago White Sox in a 4-3 victory. Matijevic’s postgame was also an eventful one as Space Cowboys teammates — Alex De Goti, Korey Lee and David Hensley — showed up to cheer him on and then posed for a group picture to celebrate his first hit and home run as a big leaguer.
Further, as reported by ESPN, the Astros bartered with the fan, Rylan Freeman, who caught the home run ball and ended up giving him a boat load of goodies for the ball. The trade included six tickets to a game with six batting practice access tickets, a Jose Altuve signed baseball, a Justin Verlander signed jersey and finally one of Matijevic’s bats.
The young fan from Corpus Christi is a ball player himself as he pitches for his high school team who just won the state title in June .
Matijevic will hopefully have a long and impactful career ahead of him with the Astros, and there couldn’t be any better start to it than going deep on your first Major League hit. Matijevic went 1-for-4 in the game with the solo home run being his only hit, bringing up his average to .091 with more hits to come in future starts as Astros’ stars are still on the mend.
The Astros’ 2017 second-round pick at 75 has tons of potential and could provide much needed power to the depth chart for the Astros as they continue into the middle part of the long summer.