Mets right-hander Matt Harvey allowed five runs and surrendered six hits across 4.2 innings in Saturday afternoon’s match against the New York Yankees.
“Today’s focus for me from the beginning of the start to the end of the start that I was concentrating on my mechanics and keeping those smooth, and where I wanted them,” Harvey said. “I felt like I did that really well today, so I’m very happy about that.”
The 28-year-old got himself into immediate danger, allowing back-to-back base knocks to Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge to kick off the game. He then plunked Giancarlo Stanton with a pitch and allowed a single to Brandon Drury, which gave the Yanks an early 1-0 lead.
Tyler Austin drove in the second run of the game for the Bombers on a ground out, but Harvey induced a double play to get himself out of the inning without any further damage.
The five-year veteran responded with a clean second, producing three ground outs. However, in the third, the Yankees tacked on another run after the top of the order, Gardner and Judge, set Drury up for a scoring opportunity to which he obliged, forcing in Gardner with a ground out.
He escaped the inning by recording three outs on just seven pitches, highlighted by a punch out of Stanton.
In the fourth, Harvey didn’t waste time. He recorded three quick outs, which included a backwards K to Austin Romine on some 96 mph cheese.
Harvey went back out for the fifth, however, but couldn’t get through the frame, as Stanton took him deep to center for a two-run bomb. Rafael Montero registered the final out of the inning.
“I saw where Travis [d’Arnaud] had his glove and it looked pretty close,” Harvey said of the pitch. “Those can go either way, and you have to do a better job. One too many fastballs, and that one obviously ran over the middle of the plate. With a hitter like that, you can’t do that.”
Overall, Harvey threw strikes and his velocity was good, but the top of the lineup that included Gardner, Judge and Stanton went 5-for-7 off the righty, while the rest of the order comprised mostly of backups went just 1-for-12.
“There were a lot of good pitches and a lot of bad pitches,” Harvey said. “It’s still March 10 and my third start. A lineup like that, you have to be really fine, and I think it’s hard to say that on March 10 that you’re going to be as fine as you want to be.”
Through three spring starts, Harvey owns a 5.59 ERA and 5:3 K:BB ratio, but for him at this point, it’s all about feeling comfortable and getting into the groove day by day.
“Getting into those fourth and fifth innings, you really want to make sure your mechanics are sound,” Harvey said. “You do get tired towards those later innings, and to keep focused on those, it’s something I felt like I did pretty well.”