Despite a solid effort by Matt Harvey, the Mets combined sloppy defense and little run support to saddle their rookie with a loss as the Mets (50-54) fell to the Giants (56-47) by the score of 4-1 Tuesday night in San Francisco.
Matt Harvey gave up three runs, only two earned, on four hits, three walks and seven strike outs in six innings pitched.
After loading the bases in the second inning with nobody out, I loved watching him navigate through this. Harvey nailed the lead runner on a come-backer to the mound for the first out. Then he made the perfect pitch inducing the double play grounder, but after shortstop Ruben Tejada took Daniel Murphy’s throw for the first out, he threw it past Ike Davis allowing two runs to score. So instead of an inning ending double play, the Giants took the lead 2-1.
“He should have wiggled out of it,” manager Terry Collins said afterward.
In the sixth inning, Harvey loaded the bases again with no outs and again induced a double-play ball — this one had the desired result and he ended up allowing just the one run to cross the plate.
“I don’t like to lose,” Harvey said. “Whether I’m pitching or whether I’m not, I don’t like to lose. It’s how I am. In my world, I would have thrown up more zeroes and kept us closer.”
Harvey now has more strikeouts than any other pitcher in Mets’ history after two games to start their career with 18 whiffs.
Scott Hairston remained a Met and went 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Justin Turner stick around after the trade deadline as well and went 2-for-3 with one RBI.
The Mets had a chance to blow the game open when they loaded the bases in the seventh inning, but pinch hitter David Wright struck out looking on a Tim Lincecum curveball to leave all three runners stranded. He’s got that loop in his swing again from last season. You know the one.
Bottom line is that this game was all about the evolution of Matt Harvey and loved what I saw. I loved how he never imploded during the two times he got into bases loaded jams. Instead, the kid bore down and knew just how to induce that groundball to put out the fire. It’s something we don’t see enough of from Mets pitchers.
I also loved hos Harvey took control of the inside part of the plate. It was his and he owned it. He notched seven more strikeouts because of it and they flailed on his fastballs outside of the plate and twice on his changeup which he’s still developing. He oozes with all kinds of great things, and wouldn’t you know it – the kid’s got the swagger to go with his top of the rotation arsenal.
“It was a very well-pitched game by him,” Thole said. “Seeing what he did the other day in Arizona, you’re excited. And what he was doing in Arizona, he was doing here.”
It’s too bad that it took injuries to Gee and Santana to get him here, but I’m glad he’s finally here in the majors where he belongs and that we could silence the “we’re rushing him” faction. Harvey belongs here in the majors.