The Mets were in the Windy City today starting a three game weekend series against the Cubs. Matt Harvey climbed the hill for a traditional daytime affair at Wrigley Field, opposed by Chicago’s Edwin Jackson.
The Mets staked Matt Harvey to a 1-0 lead right away when David Wright deposited a two out home run into the left field bleachers in the first. In the bottom of the frame, Chicago struck early against Harvey as well. With one out, shortstop Starlin Castro singled, and first baseman Anthony Rizzo doubled. Next up, Alfonso Soriano followed with an infield single to short which scored Castro from third, but Anthony Rizzo also circled around to score when Ike Davis failed to receive Ruben Tejada‘s errant throw to first.
The Mets tied the game at two in the fourth inning when Daniel Murphy led off the frame with his third home run of the season. The Mets then took a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh. After John Buck led off with a fly to right, Rick Ankiel laced an Edwin Jackson offering in the same direction for a double. Matt Harvey then stepped to the plate, and helped his own cause with his first MLB run batted in on a single to left.
Since allowing two runs in the first, Matt Harvey proceeded to retire twenty-one of the next twenty-two batters he faced. He climbed the hill again for the eighth inning, and quickly surrendered a lead-off single to Darwin Barney. After pinch hitter Julio Borbon sacrificed Barney to second, Terry Collins ascended the dugout steps and headed towards the mound to call in relief for his starter. Scott Rice entered the ballgame and promptly surrendered a single to right field by David DeJesus. As Darwin Barney rounded third heading home, Marlon Byrd charged the ball, fielded cleanly, and unleashed a pea to the waiting John Buck at home, who applied the tag to a surrendering Barney. Terry Collins then made a second change, bringing in Greg Burke, who got Starlin Castro to ground out to third base for the final out of the inning.
After the Mets went down quietly in the top of the ninth, Terry Collins sent his closer Bobby Parnell to the mound. Parnell responded by retiring the Cubs in order, preserving Matt Harvey’s fifth victory of the season. Harvey’s record is now 5-0 this season. He pitched 7.1 innings this afternoon, allowing two earned runs on five hits. Matt walked no batters and struck out six before exiting. His WHiP is now 0.72, while his ERA rose somewhat to a 1.55 mark. He threw 106 pitches, seventy-eight for strikes. Bobby Parnell earned his fifth save. His ERA now stands at a miniscule 0.98 mark after 18.1 innings pitched. He has struck out sixteen batters his season, allowed ten hits, and only walked three for a 0.71 WHiP.
The Mets improved to 16-23 on the season, and have now won consecutive games for the first time since May 1st and 2nd. This was also only the sixth time all season they have won back to back games.
* Daniel Murphy now has six hits in his last twelve at-bats.
* Matt Harvey’s 0.72 WHiP leads the National League. He is second in the senior circuit with sixty-eight strikeouts. His first MLB run batted-in was clutch.
* David Wright was the only Met with multiple hits, 3 for 4, and improved his season average to a .312 mark. Wright also stole his ninth base. He stole fifteen last year, and thirteen in 2011.
* Entering the game as a pinch hitter and defensive replacement, Marlon Byrd’s throw to the plate was the play of the game.
* Ike Davis finally snapped an 0 for 24 slump. He had one hit in four times up today, with one strikeout. In his last ten games and thirty-five at-bats, pitchers have fanned Ike thirteen times.
* John Buck and Ruben Tejada, 0 for 4, respectively.