Before tonight, Matt Harvey didn’t have a win in front of the home crowd in Flushing. After tonight, he doesn’t have to say that anymore. Harvey mowed through the San Diego hitters all night, looking completely dominant and in control during his entire outing.
The young right-hander was aided by three two-run home runs tonight, as the first one was launched into the Pepsi Porch by Lucas Duda in the bottom of the second to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. They proceeded to score six more runs to build up to an 8-0 lead before the Padres showed any life in their bats. Duda doubled in the fourth before John Buck hit his first homer as a Met, a line drive that just barely made it’s way into the Mo’s Zone. The rest of the scoring happened in the fifth; David Wright doubled home Daniel Murphy, then Ike Davishit a mammoth homer to right center, and Buck capped the inning with an RBI single.
Once Harvey exited after seven innings, the Padres started to put together hits and runs on the board; Jedd Gyorko singled and eventually came around to score on a Cameron Maybin force out in the eighth to avoid the shutout, then they chipped away at LaTroy Hawkins a bit in the ninth, but the lead was too much to overcome, as the Mets are 2-0.
- Matt Harvey went seven shutout innings, allowing one hit on two walks and 10 strikeouts. He threw 94 pitches (63 strikes).
- Greg Burke gave up a run on two hits in the eighth, as he needed Josh Edgin to come in and retire the last batter of the inning.
- Hawkins gave up three runs on three hits (only one earned) in 0.2 IP, and Bobby Parnell came in and threw three pitches to close out the ballgame.
- Duda and Buck combined for four hits and five RBI on the night, as they were the only batters to accumulate multi-hit games.
This was a fun game to watch, even though it was cold as hell at Citi Field tonight. The Mets were in complete control, and it all started with Matt Harvey. He dictated the pace of the ballgame, and all of his pitches were working. He was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball, but it looked like he was getting some extra life on it once the ball reached the plate. After a winter and spring full of high expectations, Harvey certainly came out and impressed those in attendance.
At the plate, I was most encouraged by what we saw from Duda and Ike Davis tonight. For Duda, he kept his compact swing together, didn’t try to do too much, and hit the ball a long way. With regard to Davis, he looked horrific in his first couple at-bats; swinging at the first pitch each time and looking very unbalanced, so it was great to see him regroup, keep his front shoulder in on that off-speed pitch, and launch it toward Shea Bridge. Clayton Richard isn’t overpowering, but he usually keeps lefties in check (.241 opponent BA in ’12), so watching Duda and Davis both hit the ball with authority against him was refreshing.
The Mets look to complete the sweep before the Padres head out of town, as Dillon Gee makes his season debut and return to regular season action after missing the second half of 2012. He will be opposed by lefy Eric Stults. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10pm in Flushing.