What a way for Matt Harvey to break into the big leagues! Rarely do you see a guy exceed the expectations and hype surrounding him prior to his debut. 5 1/3 shutout frames, 11 punchouts and one big first win to end the Mets six-game skid.
The Mets rolled into Arizona ice cold, coming off an 0-6 homestand and a 1-11 post-All-Star Game stretch. The morale was at an all-time low. Then this kid from Triple-A Matt Harvey comes up to join the rotation, –carting his catcher with him– to stop the bleeding at a time where many believe the Amazin’s have already bled out.
This team that has been so awful looking on all sides of the diamond as of late looked like a different team today. In the top of the first, Tejada and Murphy quickly reached base to set up a first and third situation with nobody out. They both came around to score on a Scott Hairston double, handing their rookie phenom an early 2-0 lead.
Then the real show started. The Mets 2010 first round, seventh overall draft pick out of UNC Chapel Hill, Matt Harvey, took the hill. He threw a 93- MPH fastball on the inside edge for a called strike to commence his big-league career. Three pitches later, the 23-year old also had his first strikeout. He allowed his first hit to Jason Kubel who hit a cue shot while the shift was on, allowing him to walk to first base. He would then retire the side by getting Goldschmidt on a called third strike.
In the top of the second, Harvey showed off his offensive skills. roping a double just over the reach of Gerardo Parra to collect a knock in his first at-bat. He would go 2-2 on the evening and is now batting 1.000, what CAN’T he do?!
Continuing to dominate the Diamondbacks lineup, mixing in all four of his pitches in order to do so –at several times touching 98 on the gun–, Harvey showed every single viewer from both in the stand and across the nation why he has become so highly touted. Getting batter after batter swinging, the righty slowly worked his way all the way to the history books. The Mets franchise record for puchouts in an MLB debut was eight, set by Tom Seaver –then tied by Bill Denehy three days later– in 1967, but no more. Harvey had himself eleven, count them eleven, punchouts of the 23 batters he faced, not allowing any of them to cross the plate. He ended his evening with 5 1/3 innings pitched, allowing no runs on a mere three hits while walking three and punching out ELEVEN, taking the victory in his first MLB decision.
The bullpen, as always, made things interesting. After Edgin pitched an exceptional 1 2/3 frames, Jon Rauch came on for the eighth and quickly allowed the tying run to make it up to the plate with runners on second and third with just one out. Kubel scored Arizona’s only run on a sac fly to make it a 3-1 ballgame heading into the ninth.
Parnell came on for the save and did his part to make things interesting as well. He walked two and struck out two, creating a first and second situation with Jason Kubel coming up representing the go-ahead run. Parnell got Kubel looking to end the ballgame, handing the Mets their 48th victory on the year and Harvey his 1st.
Hero Of The Game:
Is it any mystery? Matt Harvey. In short, Harvey is batting 1.000, has a 0.00 ERA, 11 punchouts and a 1-0 record? What a way to start your MLB career! Hoepfully one of many great efforts by Harvey for years to come, the future is bright!
-Harvey was the first pitcher in the modern era to collect two hits and have 10+ punchouts in their MLB debut.
-Harvey is tied with Tim Hudson for second for the number of strikeouts in an MLB debut among active pitchers. The leader is of course Strasburg in his 14K affair.
-Scott Hairston had himself a three-hit game, collecting two doubles and a pair of RBIs
-Ruben Tejada, Andres Torres and of course Matt Harvey also had multi-hit games on the night.
The Mets look to secure a series win (woah, that seems like a foreign concept as of late.) tomorrow with Jon Niese on the hill Friday starting at 9:40pm.