Matt Harvey touched 97 on the radar gun and struck out ten as the Mets beat San Diego, 4-3, Sunday afternoon. Couple that with the Cubs completing a sweep of Washington and the Mets are back in first place.
Seems like all is well again for the Mets.
A lot went right for the Mets, including another home run from Yoenis Cespedes, Kevin Plawecki is starting to hit, they were on the receiving end of a blown instant replay ruling, and Antonio Bastardo escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the eighth.
However, unquestionably the best thing that happened for the Mets was Harvey (3-4) coming up with his best outing of the season.
And, he knew it, too.
“I finally felt for the majority of the game a lot more comfortable,’’ Harvey told reporters. “I was able to pound the zone and throw all of my pitches.
“Mechanically it felt great. I just have to keep working on it. Everything felt good today.’’
In his four losses, Harvey’s fastball velocity was down to the low 90s and his breaking and off-speed pitches were off. Harvey knows he’s on his game not so much when he’s throwing in the high 90s, but “ when I can go inside and throw a change-up to a right-handed hitters.’’
Again Harvey stumbled in the fifth when he left a mediocre fastball over the plate Christian Bethancourt took deep into the second deck. However, unlike in previous games, Harvey rebounded in the sixth.
Harvey gave up two runs on four hits with two walks and ten strikeouts in six innings. Again, his pitch count was too high at 102.
Sunday was a definite positive for Harvey, but he knows for him to reach the level expected of him he has to give the Mets more innings for all those pitches.
However, on this day the concern level on Harvey was low. Just the way the Mets want it to be.
METS GAME WRAP
Game: #30 Record: 19-11 Streak: W 2
Standings: First, NL East
Runs: 133 Average per game: 4.4 Times scoring 3 runs or less: 12
SUMMARY: Harvey pitched his best came of the season, and was backed by Cespedes’ homer and a pair of two-out RBI singles by Asdrubal Cabrera.
KEY MOMENT: The Mets received a controversial replay ruling in their favor in the fifth inning when the review upheld the original decision that Andrew Cashner was out at the plate. Had the call been reversed the Padres would have pulled within 4-3 and had a runner on third.
THUMBS UP: Bastardo entered the game in the eighth with the bases loaded and no outs, and proceeded to strike out Derek Norris, got Melvin Upton on a pop-up and struck out Alexei Ramirez. … Three two-out RBI. … Cabrera continues to excel. … Two hits by Eric Campbell, who started in place of David Wright. … Ten saves in as many opportunities for Jeurys Familia.
EXTRA INNINGS: The Mets bussed to Los Angeles after the game. … Neil Walker did not start because of a bruised right shin, but pinch-hit and struck out. … Cespedes hit his 11th homer. He didn’t hit his 11th last year until July 6. … The Dodgers will use three lefties against the Mets. … TOPPS will put out a special edition baseball card commemorating Bartolo’s homer Saturday night. It will cost you $9.99.
QUOTEBOOK: “It’s only May,’’ – Collins in response to a question of the Mets jumping the Nationals for first place in the NL East.
BY THE NUMBERS: 0-for-19: Walker’s current slide.
NEXT FOR METS: Steven Matz starts Monday night for the Mets in Los Angeles.