On this Harvey Day, we were quickly denied a no-hitter, as Zack Cozart lined a one-out, first-inning single to left field. That would be it in the top of the first, with David Wright flashing the leather to retire Joey Votto on a soft liner and Brandon Phillips on a fielder’s choice. His second inning featured two strikeouts and a walk, but nothing serious developed as Mat Latosgrounded out to end the inning. Harvey’s control has been less-than-stellar early, but in the first two innings he was able to avoid any serious issues.
The bottom of the inning was a rare sight (of late), as Daniel Murphy and Rick Ankiel ripped back-to-back doubles to open the frame. David Wright (6-3), Lucas Duda (K, looking) and Marlon Byrd (L7) would combine to strand Ankiel on third.
The Reds took a 2-1 lead in the third, when Zack Cozart doubled and Joey Votto hit a home run to left field. Rick Ankiel doubled again in the bottom of the third, but was again stranded as well-hit balls by David Wright and Lucas Duda found the gloves of Cozart and Phillips, respectively.
The fourth inning went quietly, but the fifth got exciting when Cozart lined his third hit (and second double), and a pair of walks to Votto (intentional) and Phillips (unintentional) loaded the bases for Jay Bruce. The threat was ended when Bruce grounded out to second base, keeping the score at 2-1. The Mets got a double from their own shortstop, who was moved to third by Harvey’s bunt and came home on a shallow Daniel Murphy sacrifice fly to tie the game.
Harvey pitched a quick sixth inning that featured a slick play by Ruben Tejada. Lucas Duda hit a one-out double down the right field line in the bottom half, but was stranded by Byrd and Davis, who hit a ball about 400 feet but hit it somewhere deeper.
After retiring Choo, Harvey gave up hits to Cozart, Votto, and Phillips to score the third run and end his day. Scott Rice came in and got a pair of groundouts, but the from Jay Bruce extended the Red lead to 4-2. Harvey’s final line: 6.1IP, 9H, 4ER, 3BB (1 intentional), 6K. His ERA jumped to 1.93.
The Mets got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Ruben Tejada, who had reached on a fielder’s choice (Buck singled and was put out at second), scored on a 2-out Daniel Murphy single to center, who then scored the tying run (and got Harvey off the hook) on a Rick Ankiel triple to deep left field.
Brandon Lyon pitched an excellent eighth inning, getting a ground ball to first and two strikeouts. After Marlon Byrd reached on a 1-out error in the bottom half, Ike Davis managed a walk. John Buck grounded into a double play to end the threat.
Bobby Parnell pitched the ninth and surrendered the tie-breaking run on a Brandon Phillips double that was misplayed (or, rather, not played at all) by Ike Davis. Davis, thinking the ball was foul, allowed it to go past him only for the first base umpire to call it in fair territory. After an intentional walk to Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier tore the game open on a bloop single to score both Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips.
Daniel Murphy got a ninh inning single, but Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless inning to save the Cincinnati sweep.
- You probably already know, but Red’s starter Mat Latos has a cat named Cat Latos.
- Though much panned when he was brought in, it deserves mentioning that Rick Ankiel is hitting .323/.364/.710 in 33 plate appearances as a Met.
- Lucas Duda has been struggling in May, but now has a seven-game hitting streak going. He’s hitting .320/.357/.440 over that span. For about a week or so before that, he started making consistent, solid contact. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, as a productive Duda would help turn around the Mets’ offense.
- Zack Cozart became the first hitter to get four hits against Matt Harvey. He had been 5-25 on Cincinnati’s road trip coming into today.
- Today was the second start in Harvey’s career in which he allowed more than 3 earned runs, and the first in which he allowed more than ten baserunners.
- Ike Davis went 0-2, but he managed to collect two walks.
Harvey’s control suffered today, and it showed with two unintentional walks and several deep counts against a Cincinnati team who excels in driving counts. In a rather odd development, struggling shortstop Zack Cozart had four hits, which made facing Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips much more difficult. His line ended up fairly crooked, and was the result of inefficiency and unfortunate control. Harvey’s an excellent pitcher, but a bad start was inevitable.
The bullpen has been solid of recent, but it speaks volumes that Terry Collins preferred to allow a struggling Harvey to start the seventh, already 100 pitches deep. It was unfortunate that the fourth run was allowed, but Scott Rice did Scott Rice things to escape the jam. Great job by the offense to get Harvey off the hook immediately after.
Sandy Alderson struck a bit of gold by bringing in Rick Ankiel last week. He may not be a long term solution, and won’t always have a 1.074 OPS, but he’s given the Mets some solid production in center field, and the platoon with Juan Lagares allows Terry Collins to minimize their respective weaknesses.
Bobby Parnell was victimized by an odd set of circumstances at first base described above, giving up his first runs in the month of May to take his first loss of the season. He had only given up two earned runs in 19.1 innings to date.
The Mets are off tomorrow. They open a three game set with the Braves on Friday night at Citi Field.