Day after Mets were no hit, Harvey gets hit hard

(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)

The Mets were no hit for the first time in 22 years on Tuesday night, but the team went into Wednesday night’s game feeling their usual confidence because they were sending Matt Harvey to the mound.

Mets Manager Terry Collins said of the mood of his team before the game in his pre-game remarks, “It’s a new day. It’s the big leagues, you know, gotta come out and play today and gotta come out and play again tomorrow so it’s over, move forward, get ready for the next day. The entire afternoon’s been spent getting ready for Tim Hudson.”

On how he wanted the team’s mindset to be on Wednesday, “The only way to play this game, play every game angry. You don’t need something, a no-hitter or anything else, to spur you on to the next day. You get ready for each game separately and, you know, the only time there’s ever really emotions, is if something happened during the game, like getting hit, to bring out different emotional preparations, otherwise you just gotta get ready.”

Collins said of the offense’s performance, “Well, we got no-hit last night, we hit the s**t out of the ball Sunday. So, I feel it’s a different game, each and every game is different. There’s things that you see each and every day that you wish you could change, but you know, we went out and kid pitched a good game…We hit the ball good tonight, and who’s to say, there’s no answers, as I say this all the time, this is big-league baseball, and yeah if we hit the ball the way we’re capable of, no, we aren’t, but we’re hanging in there and that’s all you can ask of these guys.”

Mat Harvey did not start off well, as he gave up a sharp hit to Nori Aoki. He followed that up by giving up a two-run homer to Joe Panik on an 0-2 count to make it 2-0 Giants. Harvey responded by retiring the next three Giants in order.

Curtis Granderson led off for the Mets and gave the team just what it needed, a rocket to right-center field for a hit. The problem was that Granderson only got a single out of it when it was a sure double.

This changed the course of the inning, as Reuben Tejada hit a grounder to second base, and it was slow enough that Granderson got to second base, when he should have been on third, and set up a sacrifice fly possibility. Instead, Lucas Duda was walked on four pitches, all but an intentional walk, as Giants starter Tim Hudson pitched around him to get to Michael Cuddyer.

Cuddyer laced a hit to left field and Granderson was thrown out at the plate by a mile, his whole inning on the basepaths shaped by his inability to get to second on his big hit. Wilmer Flores bailed Grandy out by getting a single to score Duda and Cuddyer and tie the game at 2.

Harvey continued on the roll he started to end the first, and worked around a Brandon Crawford walk in the second and a single by Aoki to open the third. in the fourth, he gave up a one-out hit to Brandon Belt, and got out unscathed, and then retired the Giants in order in the fifth.

In that time, the Mets took advantage. Eric Campbell got an RBI single in the fourth, and Duda got an RBI single in the fifth to make it 4-2 Mets.

In the sixth, the wheels came off for Harvey. The inning opened with a hard single to center from Panik, followed by a walk to Angel Pagan. Buster Posey doubled them in with a double down the right field line to tie it at 4. Brandon Belt then launched a homer to left-center field, near where a lot of Giants fans were sitting, to make it 6-4 Giants.

That wasn’t it, as the Giants kept the rally going. Brandon Crawford doubled to right field, but was thrown out at third base trying to stretch it into a triple. Harvey then got Matt Duffy to fly out for the second out. He then gave up a homer to the eighth hitter in the San Francisco order, Justin Maxwell, to make it a five-run inning and make it 7-4 Giants.

The Mets and Giants traded runs in the eighth and ninth innings and the Giants won it 8-5.

Harvey allowed 7 runs, all earned, tying a career-high, on a season-high 9 hits, 2 walks, struck out just 2, and gave up a career-high 3 homers. The five runs Harvey gave up in the sixth were the most he has given up in any inning in his career. He lost for the first time in his career when given four runs of support from the Mets’ offense.

Harvey’s tough run of four starts began when he gave up seven runs against the Pirates on May 24th. Harvey has allowed 20 earned runs in 25 innings over his last four starts for a 7.20 ERA in that span. This comes after a superb start to the season, when he allowed 12 earned runs in 54.2 innings for a 1.98 ERA over his first eight outings.

Collins said of Harvey giving up the first-inning homer, settling in, then what he saw when he gave up five runs in the sixth, “Well, it’s the easiest thing to do is check the counts they had when they hit the ball – that means 0-2, 1-2, 0-2 and left balls on the plate. With his stuff, you don’t get hit that hard unless the ball’s in the middle of the plate. Even Panik’s homer, he tried to come in on him and left it over the middle. This guy pounds the strike zone, but got to keep it out of the middle if you can, and that inning (the 6th), just left the ball in the middle of the plate.”

Collins said of how concerning the home runs are, “Certainly we haven’t seen it before, so it’s new to us…One thing we have grown accustomed to watching Matt Harvey pitch is that tremendous stuff and not give up homers, but you know, just make some better pitches. And in the big leagues, and against teams that know how to handle the bat, you better get some balls out of the strike zone and make them work harder.”

Collins said of this possibly being a result of coming off Tommy John surgery, “Any of it could be, there’s no question. You’re looking at a guy tonight who threw 97 to 99, and he gets swings, two strikeouts and good swings. That just tells you that little extra, even though it’s hard, that little extra at the end may be not there. But again, I just go back to the fact this guy’s certainly known to pound the strike zone, he’s known to throw strikes, and if you leave it over the plate, they’re gonna take good swings at it. These guys know how to hit. They’re a very, very good team and you gotta make quality pitches.”


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