Friday, July 27, 2012

Game #99: Mets 3, D-Backs 1

Tonight in the blistering desert, there was no one hotter than the man making a historic major league debut.

Matt Harvey struck out 11 over 5 1/3 scoreless innings to power the Mets to a losing streak-snapping 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks.

The Good Stuff:
  • Still think he's not ready? Fresh up from Buffalo, Matt Harvey gunned down the first man he faced and never looked back. New York's stellar prospect never had a perfect inning but powered through the Arizona lineup, tossing 5 1/3 scoreless innings while allowing 3 hits, 3 walks, and sitting down 11 men by way of the K. It was the most strikeouts a pitcher handed out in a debut since Stephen Strasburg's 14 in 2010.
  • But what made tonight not just sensational but historic for Mr. Harvey was what he was able to to at the plate: a scorching double in the 2nd and single up the middle in the 4th made him the first pitcher in modern baseball history to strike out at least 10 men and collect two hits in his major league debut. Take a screenshot of the line on tomorrow morning: you'll see Matt Harvey with a batting average of 1.000 and a slugging percentage of 1.500. Who knew?
  • Scott Hairston provided all the run support Harvey and the rest would end up needing with a 2-run double in the 1st inning. He finished the day with another double (both to opposite field) and a single for a nice 3-4 night.
  • Rob Johnson provided the 3rd RBI of the night, knocking a sac fly in the 4th to score Andres Torres after his triple.
  • Harvey walked two in the 6th and made his exit after 106 pitches, but fellow 2010 Draft class mate Josh Edgin (taken in the 30th round, 29 after Harvey) came in to end the D-Back threat and toss a hitless 7th inning as well.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Of course, Edgin couldn't pitch forever, and the rest of the Met bullpen came in in the 8th to set up the roller coaster and jeopardize Harvey's Amazin' night. Jon Rauch allowed a run and Tim Byrdak hit a guy before sitting down Lyle Overbay on 3 straight outside sliders. In the 9th, Bobby Parnell survived 31 pitches and 2 walks to strike out 3 and give Mets nation a collective sigh of relief (no pun intended).
  • David Wright continued his slump, going 0-4 with a strikeout to make it 14 at-bats since his last hit. Keith Hernandez noticed the strikeouts are increasing because David's gone to a bit of an uppercut swing like he's had the last few years. Let's hope he breaks out of it and starts swinging level again.
Final Analysis:
It took awhile, but New York's 6-game losing streak comes to an end in a most spectacular fashion. Matt Harvey silenced his critics and the 'Zona bats to make his mark in the big leagues. Should his career be as good as it's been made out to potentially be, we'll all look back to this night as a wonderful sign of things to come.

With Harvey's spectacular debut following Jeremy Hefner's solid outing in a losing effort yesterday, the holes in the Mets' starting pitching seem to be healing up for the time being. Dickey-Hefner-Harvey-Niese-Young may not be the most flashy of rotations, but if it gets the job done, to heck with flashy. The road to climbing out of this sub-.500 ditch starts now. Only time will tell as to whether this team can pull themselves out of it.


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