Apr 8, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey (33) checks Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Ben Revere (2) on third base during the first inningat Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

4/8 Game Recap: Matt Harvey Battles & Mets Infect Phillies’ “Doc”, Win 7-2


What started out after the 1st inning looking like a possible pitcher’s duel quickly turned into a one-sided Metsian romp. The Orange and Blue took full advantage of their current power surge, the Citizens Bank Park dimensions and the out-of-sync Roy Halladay, riding a 2nd inning John Buck 3-run shot and another stellar Matt Harvey outing to a 7-2 win that opens the series.

Box Score and Highlights here.

Roy Halladay, who has looked to be a shell of his former self during the Spring and in his 1st start against the Braves, got the Mets 1-2-3 in the 1st inning. Matt Harvey walked Ben Revere to open the bottom of the 1st, and he promptly stole 2nd despite John Buck’s good throw. Rollins bounced it to 2nd for the 1st out of the inning, moving Revere down to 3rd. Terry oddly early on brought the corners in and the middle halfway in with a runner on 3rd and 1 out. It was hardly necessary as Harvey got Chase Utley to pop up to David Wright. Harvey then naturally struck out Ryan Howard and the Mets were through the 1st.

It was then evident that Roy Halladay was once again flat with most of his pitches. Whatever it is, you can tell the mechanics are completely off, besides he generally looking physically ill out there. I hope he’s OK, because I would hate it to be more than just mechanically related. Anyway, Ike grounded out to open the 2nd, but Marlon Byrd RIPPED a batting practice breaking pitch over the plate to center field for a double. Halladay’s pitch then broke too far inside, hitting Lucas Duda. That brought up John Buck, who only needed 3 pitches to drive a cutter to the opposite field, shooting it well into the right field stands for a 3-run home run. Whatever is wrong with Roy Halladay, the Phillies and their fans were more deflated than they would be had it been any other pitcher giving up the lead first.

The Phillies’ batters made very weak contact in the bottom of the 2nd inning, and it was time to sit back and watch Matt Harvey settle in.

The Mets continued to work the Doctor, as Murphy walked to open the 3rd. Wright moved him over to 2nd on a dribbler to 3rd, but Ike Davis, who struggled once more in this game but did collect a hit, got fooled inside and popped it up quickly to 1st. The Duda, however, got a flat cutter over the plate and laced it into center field, scoring Murph for the 4th run of the game.

The closest the Mets and us fans came to a real scare in this game was when Ryan Howard just got under it for a sac fly in the bottom of the 4rd to limit Matt Harvey’s run line to 1-run. Runners were on the corners for the big man after Ike Davis made a nice snare but lollie-dollied the throw over to a covering Harvey at 1st, failing to record the out. After the Howard at-bat, Harvey struck out Michael Young and got Domonic Brown to fly out to center to end the threat.

The Mets started to break away in the 5th when Murph drove the ball to center for a ground-rule double on the 1st pitch of the inning. Halladay unleashed a wild pitch with Captain America at the plate, sending Murph down to 3rd. David then laced a single passed Michael Young at 3rd to score Murph. Ike then first-pitch hit it into right field to set up 1st and 3rd, and knocked the Doctor out of commission. Chad Durbin got Marlon Byrd swinging on a third strike, but then walked walk-machine Lucas Duda to load the bases. They kept John Buck in check with a pop-up, but Ruben knocks a 2-out, 2-strike single to right, and the Mets scored 2 to put up a 7-spot in Philly.

The Phillies finished their scoring against Josh Edgin in the 8th for their 2nd run of the ball game.

Highlights:

  • Matt Harvey did not Dominate the way he Dominated the Padres. But he still Dominated. Matt pitched 7 innings, gave up 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 9 Phillies. He is 2-0 with an 0.64 ERA through 2 starts.
  • Josh Edgin gave up a run in the 8th inning when Eric Kratz hit a ground-rule double, moved over to 3rd on Ben Revere’s groundout, and scored the Phillies only other run on Jimmy Rollins‘ groundout to 1st. Josh finished the game by working a 1-2-3 9th.
  • David Wright went 2-4 with a run scored, a walk and an RBI.
  • John Buck went 1-4 with 3 RBI. He is batting .375 with 3 HR and 12 RBI through 7 games. 12 RBI is now a new Mets record for any Met ever through the 1st 7 games.
  • Between John Buck and Anthony Recker, the Mets now have 13 RBI through 7 games from the catching position.
  • Whoa.
  • Daniel Murphy continued his torrid hitting, going 2-4 with 2 runs scored.
  • Davis, Byrd, Duda and Tejada collected 1 hit apiece.
  • The Mets have opening the season up homering in 7 straight games, the longest streak since a franchise-record 8 straight in 1987.
  • The Mets beat Halladay for the 1st time since July 16, 2001, at Shea. He played for some Canadian team back then.

Thoughts:

Let’s start with Ike, the least trendy topic regarding this game to begin with. He got a solid hit in the 5th, but there seems to be something off confidence-wise, and it’s spilling over into his defense once again, recording an error in the 6th, and, as I said, lolli-dollying a ball over to Harvey at 1st that was called a Chase Utley single. Maybe he’s putting too much pressure on himself to get off to a better start than last year, but whatever it is, he’ll probably not get as deep into the season slumping as he did last season. I am slightly concerned though, but mostly have confidence that he’ll be completely fine.

Alright. Now we straight ball.

Is it wrong of me from the experience I have in being a Major League fan to assume Matt Harvey will never give up more than 5 runs in a ball game, and no more than once every year? I don’t know why I don’t think this kid will struggle, but his starts are becoming events, and that’s nice to see with R.A. Dickey on sabbatical…

But seriously. Matt Harvey is going to pitch the first perfect game in New York Mets history, right? I don’t believe Matt Harvey believes in jinxes…

John Buck. The greatest Met ever through 7 games. We knew the potential for a more potent bottom of the lineup with Buck on his way, but clearly we could have never asked for a record-breaking opening week. Combined with his savvy game-calling, and you’d think we sent R.A. Dickey to Toronto to GET John Buck!

So, nobody let Daniel Murphy into Port Saint Lucie next year, alright? Just tell him to rest up before going straight to Citi Field so he can hit.

And the new blue road jerseys are fantastic. Great job. I’ll probably go more into the whole uniform combination on my personal Mets Blog in the morning.

 

Tomorrow (but, ya know, today since this is after midnight.):

Dillon Gee goes for his 1st win in his 2nd start as the Mets look for another series victory against Cliff Lee and the Phillies at 7:05PM. Cliff Lee, who got 6 wins all of last season, didn’t get his first win till July (and against us.) He got his first win this year in his first start. Time to set him back on a 6-win pace.

 

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Tags: Featured John Buck Matt Harvey New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies Popular Roy Halladay