It’s always something, right?
In what may be their best win on the year, 9-4 over the Chicago Cubs. In a game where Steven Matz came off the bench to pinch hit and leg out an infield hit for an RBI. And in a game, where Curtis Granderson hit his 300th homer to give the Mets the lead, all anyone could talk about what was wrong with Matt Harvey.
The former ace didn’t look like himself tonight, going four innings and giving up four runs, all on homers. But his velocity was down. Way down.
“Can we not use the word hurt?” said manager Terry Collins when asked about Harvey’s status. “Matt’s arm is fatigued. We asked him after the third inning and he said his arm feels tired. After the next inning that was enough for me. We have enough issues here and we didn’t need it to get any worse.”
Collins saw Harvey’s fastball at 89 m.p.h. in the third, which was the tip off sign.
Of course, all this could be just fatigue and he may just need to skip a start. “My arm was not working at all,” Harvey said. “In past games, it’s taken a while to get loose and get warm. Obviously since the surgery that’s been the issue, but tonight it got loose and progressively just felt really tired.”
But these are the Mets, so don’t bet on that. Harvey has an appointment with the MRI tube tomorrow.
And joining him is Neil Walker, who pulled up lame on a bunt attempt in the third. It looked bad and Collins said he is “concerned.” So much so that Gavin Cecchini was pulled from the lineup in Las Vegas tonight. A decision will be made tomorrow.
But other than that, this was a great Mets win. Down 2-0 in the first and 4-1 in the top of the fourth, this team battled back against the World Champions. It was one of those games where everything seemed to go right for the Mets and the Cubs didn’t play very crisp baseball.
And more importantly, the problem areas that plagued the Mets early in the season shined tonight. Start with the five innings of shutout ball from the bullpen and work your way back from there.
“That’s what happens when you have length,” Collins said knowing many of his relievers had a few days off thanks to Jacob deGrom’s complete game on Monday, which meant Paul Sewald was able to go two innings and both Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins were fully rested.
Then there was Collins, the much-maligned Mets manager, who was forced to make all the right moves with a short bench because of Harvey and Walker leaving the game early. With Yoenis Cespedes not ready to pinch hit in the fourth, because he wasn’t stretched out, Matz came in and delivered an infield single.
Later, in the eighth, after Cespedes pinch hit a single, Robert Gsellman pinch ran. Lucas Duda hit a three-homer, because he was hitting in Walker’s spot.
All-in-all this came together.
“This was a big win for us,” Collins said. “Especially with the Nationals coming in tomorrow night. I know what their record is, but (the Cubs) are still the World Champs. To come back against them, it was a great win against us.”
After yesterday’s loss, the Mets needed this win. Even with the mood somewhat down because of the uncertainty of Harvey and Walker’s injury, it’s the type of win where winning streaks gets started.
With Washington in town tomorrow, it couldn’t come at a better time.
Now, let’s hope for the best on Harvey and Walker, because it’s always something.