Matt Harvey picked up right where he left off in 2012 with a sensational start, and monumental home runs from Lucas Duda and Ike Davis provided the spark for the Mets, who held off the Padres late to win 8-4.
The Good Stuff:
- In the last start of his rookie season, Matt Harvey tossed a brilliant one-hitter against the Phillies. In the first start of his sophomore season, he was even better, turning in 7 one-hit shutout innings with just two walks and a whopping 10 strikeouts on 94 pitches.
- Unlike Harvey's 2012 finale, the New York offense got him a steady supply of run support throughout the game.
- Lucas Duda opened the scoring with a two-run rocket shot in the 2nd inning that reached the Pepsi Porch in a hurry.
- Duda managed another extra-base hit, a double, in the 4th inning, coming home three pitches later when John Buck took Clayton Richard to the opposite field for his first home run in a Met uniform, which made it 4-0.
- In the bottom of the 5th, David Wright chopped a hard groundball into the left field corner, scoring Daniel Murphy from first to make it 5-0. The Captain went to third base on the throw, meaning it would only take slumping Ike Davis a flyball to score.
- Well, ol' Ike hit a flyball all right. One that kept flying, and flying, and flying...all the way to the Shea Bridge. The Home Run Apple did its thing for the third time, and after an RBI single by Buck to score Marlon Byrd later in the inning, the Mets had a resounding 8-0 lead.
- Just like in Harvey's last start, however, the New York bullpen threatened to derail the whole shebang. Greg Burke let the shutout get away in the 8th inning and San Diego got three runs in the 9th off 40-year-old LaTroy Hawkins (albeit only one was earned)
- Hawkins's two unearned runs came as consequence of Ruben Tejada's second error in two days. He made up for it with a nice play to end the game.
What else is there to say about Matt Harvey? We're watching an ace develop right before our eyes. With Johan Santana out of the picture and the title of Team Ace up for grabs, Harvey could have it secured by the end of the summer. Lucas Duda has such potential at the plate; it was extraordinarily encouraging to see Big Dude get not just one but two extra-base hits. His Pepsi Porch home run would've been the talk of the town if not for Ike Davis's Shea Bridge moon shot in the 5th. Ike struggled mightily on Opening Day, so it was nice to see him get off the schneid.
The first two games of 2013 have gone about as well as they could have for the Mets: the starters have been locked in, the bullpen hasn't fallen apart yet, and the offense has been on a tear with 19 runs in two games. New York can do a lot for its early-season momentum by finishing off the Padres tomorrow afternoon.