Matt Harvey may have just been sick over the lack of run support he was getting. So, why not put it on your own shoulders to get yourself out of a rut?
Entering Saturday’s start versus Arizona, Harvey had been the beneficiary of some tough luck. In addition to not earning a win since June 16, Harvey was saddled with a no-decision in four games this season in which he allowed two runs or fewer.
Overall, Harvey continues to boast a streak of 14 straight starts of allowing one or fewer runs and not receiving the win. No other pitcher in Major League history in the last century had more than 12 such starts among his first 52 career outings.
The Dark Knight masks were out on a sunny, warm afternoon at Citi Field, but the Caped Crusader donning No. 33 on the back of his uniform didn’t offer up his best start to the people of Gotham.
Despite allowing a two-run shot to David Peralta in the top of the first (his 11th homer allowed to a left-handed batter in 2014) to put his team in a 2-0 hole, Harvey settled down.
And did he ever. Harvey retired nine of the next 22 batters he faced via strikeout and managed to stir up some excitement with the bat.
“He came out in the first inning and gave up a fast two runs,” said Mets’ manager Terry Collins. “His make-up is that is all they (Arizona) will get. If we score, we are going to win the game.”
Collins later added: “This guy (Harvey) competes. As the game went along, his command got better and his stuff got better. That’s what you come to expect from him.”
As the Mets trailed by a run with two outs in the fifth, Harvey drew the largest roar from the Citi Field faithful on the day. He took the first offering from Arizona starter Patrick Corbin out to the left-field fence for his first career round-tripper, a go-ahead and eventual game-winning two-run homer.
“I think the big thing going around now is that we can rake,” Harvey stated. “I wasn’t doing my job very well. I think that (the home run) might have helped the cause a little bit.”
The other outcry from the fans in Flushing came as a familiar face made his second return to New York. Oliver Perez, a member of the Mets’ starting rotation from 2006-10, was showered with an array of boos that may, from this writer’s opinion, have been as loud as the applause after Harvey’s home run.
Harvey’s blast did receive some scrutiny from Peralta, the D-Backs leftfielder, though. Feeling that there was interference by a fan’s glove, the umpires called into nearby Manhattan to confirm the call. It was determined that the ball still would have cleared the fence and the home run was upheld.
“I thought it wasn’t a homer because I saw the fan reaching to get the ball,” Peralta commented about the reviewed home run.
If the Mets are to make a serious push for a postseason bid, their most recent successful trip on the West Coast may have been the start to something.
“It’s huge (for our team),” commented Collins about his team’s latest road trip and homestand. “We said when we came into July, during the last homestand, that it is going to be tough. To get it started, the way we have right now, with the road trip and so far this homestand, is huge for us.”
The Mets have the chance to head into the All-Star Break at five games over .500 and within grasp of both the National League East and Wild Card.
There, after all, could be some exciting days ahead for the baseball team that plays in Queens…