Final Score: Mets 8, Reds 4
Player of the Game: Matt Harvey- 7.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 89 pitches (63 strikes)
Goat of the Game: Frank Francisco- 0.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, K, HR
Just one night after Mike Leake stole the show in Cincinnati, it was Matt Harvey’s turn. Harvey, looking to snap a personal three-game losing streak, took the mound for his fifth start in the majors.
Harvey dominated early and seemed to keep getting better as the game progressed. He kept his pitch count low and it looked for a while like he had a shot at pitching a complete game. He got into trouble in the seventh inning, however. The Reds plated a run in the inning, smacking two doubles. In the eighth, Harvey allowed a single and a walk. He was removed with two outs in the eighth inning.
Harvey left the mound very disappointed. He knew in the eighth when Drew Stubbs came to bat that if he walked him, it would be the end of the night. Well, he walked Stubbs and pounded his glove. I’m not sure whether he was more upset about leaving the game or handing the ball to the worst bullpen in baseball.
While Harvey dominated the Reds, the Mets offense finally showed some life, scoring eight runs on the night, sic of them coming against Homer Bailey. The Met offense has been stagnant for what seems like weeks now, but scored three in the fourth and three in the sixth. Matt Harvey himself drove in two runs to help his own cause with a double in the fourth. Ike Davis had a productive night at the plate as well, hitting a home run in the fourth and then hitting a run-scoring double in the ninth.
The Mets had a 8-1 advantage going into the ninth. No chance the Reds could give us a scare, right? Absolutely wrong. Harvey had a right to be upset when Terry Collins pulled him from the game in the eighth because the ball was now in the hands of the Mets bullpen, more specifically: Frank Francisco.
Coming into tonight, Francisco hadn’t been pitching well. He had allowed a run or more in two of his previous three appearances. Tonight it was more of the same. Francisco gave up three runs on four hits while also walking a batter. He couldn’t finish the inning and after 27 pitches, he was removed from the ballgame in favor of Jon Rauch. Luckily, Rauch has been pitching extremely well lately. He finally closed the door on an 8-4 Mets victory, earning his third save of the season.
- Harvey was working very efficiently for most of the night. At one point, he had thrown 17 consecutive strikes, keeping his overall pitch count low. In fact, in four of Harvey’s seven plus innings, he threw fewer than ten pitches. This was definitely a great bounce-back start after he struggled against Atlanta, walking five batters in six innings his last time out.
- Jason Bay had a big night, hitting a home run in the sixth off Homer Bailey, his sixth of the season. Bay also had another hit and finished the game 2-for-5. However, Bay struck out twice as well, so this is definitely no indication that he’s returning to normal, as if anyone thought that anyway…
- Kelly Shoppach made his Met debut tonight. He went 0-for-3, but scored two runs.