Here’s the Mets’ lineup for Monday’s game at Miami:
Curtis Granderson – RF
Juan Lagares – CF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Michael Cuddyer – LF
Daniel Murphy – 2B
Eric Campbell – 3B
Wilmer Flores – SS
Kevin Plawecki – C
Dillon Gee – RHP
Matt Harvey was exceptional today – addressing any doubts about his sprained left ankle and last Sunday’s reported bout with strep throat – and backed by the offense that posted season highs in runs and hits (12) routed the Yankees, 8-2.
He also didn’t erase any thoughts he’s the one who really calls the shots.
The Mets broke the game open with a four-run fourth on Juan Lagares‘ RBI triple – one of his four hits – Wilmer Flores‘ run-scoring single and Plawecki’s two-run homer off C.C. Sabathia. Plawecki also added a RBI single.
The story, of course, as it usually is was Harvey, who inexplicably came out for the ninth, arguably three innings longer than he should have been, that is, if we are to take Mets management at its word. Coming off Tommy John surgery, GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins, said they would closely monitor Harvey’s innings workload, but never produced a definitive plan for him coming out of spring training.
Both said Harvey would be curtailed, especially in blowout games, and for his second straight start gave him a 7-1 lead. Last Sunday, when Harvey pitched with the bad throat, he insisted on starting. In addition, he could have been pulled after the fifth, but went into the seventh.
Today was more of the same, but Collins finally pulled Harvey after a hit and walk in the ninth. Harvey’s facial expressions, which included shaking his head as he walked into the dugout indicated he was clearly upset with his manager’s decision.
Also, as he was in the hand shake line, he shook Collins’ hand, but quickly walked past him.
For his second straight start, the Mets gave Matt Harvey a 7-1 lead. He cruised through six and retired his last ten hitters. Again, and only because the Mets made a big deal of this, here was an opportunity to preserve his innings.
So, why am I not surprised he is still out there?
That he’s still pitching indicates the Mets never had any plan to limit his innings, and GM Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins were just blowing smoke. It also indicates they seem to be walking on egg shells around him. Yes, the tail wags the dog.
Mark Teixeira homered to lead off the seventh for the Yankees.
Harvey is pitching with house money today, so he shouldn’t have come out for this inning. With his pitch count down, I’d rather save Harvey’s bullets now and not worry about pulling him from a 3-3 game in September. If the Mets are as good as they say they are, they shouldn’t be afraid to go to their bullpen.
Compounding matters is nobody is warming up in the Mets’ bullpen, so Harvey will come out for the eighth.
Mets 7, Yankees 2 (8th)
Situational hitting was a problem for the Mets in recent seasons, but that wasn’t the case today when they jumped on C.C. Sabathia in a four-run fourth. Juan Lagares had a two-out, RBI triple and scored on Wilmer Flores. Lagares and Flores extending the inning set up Kevin Plawecki‘s two-run homer, the first of his career.
In their dugout one sensed the Mets looking at Matt Harvey and thinking, “O.K., big guy, you have a lead, now hold it.”
I like how Harvey went after the Yankees as he eschewed the strikeout and challenged them to put the ball in play. By the way, that was nice sliding catch by John Mayberry Jr., in left to end the inning.
Mets 5, Yankees 1 (5th)
The Mets got off to a fast start on Lucas Duda‘s first-inning homer off C.C. Sabathia. Now, we will see what Matt Harvey is all about. Pitching ill last Sunday and doing so on a sprained left ankle were key Harvey-related stories this week.
Jacoby Ellsbury swung at the first pitch and flied to center. Brett Gardner swung at two of the first three pitches and is behind in the count. Some not-so-smart hitting by the Yankees. With Harvey having a questionable ankle, I would have thought the Yankees would have tested him by laying down a bunt to see the strength of Harvey’s ankle.
I’m surprised the Yankees didn’t go after him right away just to see how Harvey would react.
Mets 1, Yankees 0 (2nd)