The story of Game 1 of today’s doubleheader in Atlanta should’ve been Matt Harvey‘s dominance and nothing else. That changed in an eighth inning that was more fiasco than baseball, but the Mets held on for the 4-3 victory this afternoon.
The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Daniel Murphy aggressively scored from second base on an infield single. In the fourth inning, the Mets added to their advantage when John Buck crushed a long solo homer to deep left to make it 2-0.
In the meantime, Matt Harvey was absolutely dealing. He struck out a career high 13 batters (including six in a row at one point) and had a no hitter going until the seventh inning. It was then, that Jason Heyward broke up the no hit bid with a dribbler up the first base line that Lucas Duda broke in to field. Harvey fielded the ball and had no one to flip the ball to.
In the top of the eighth, the Mets added two insurance runs to stretch their lead to 4-0. The first came on a bases loaded walk by Jordany Valdespin, the second on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Omar Quintanilla. Then came the bottom of the eighth…
After a long wait between innings, it was clear that Matt Harvey was gassed when he walked Gerald Laird to lead off the inning, missing his location by a lot. He should’ve been removed from the game at that point (he was around 110 pitches), but Terry Collins left him in. Harvey then induced a potential double play grounder that was botched by David Wright. The official scorer ruled it a hit, but it wasn’t one. The next hitter, Andrelton Simmons, grounded a single to left to load the bases and end Harvey’s day.
LaTroy Hawkins replaced Harvey and struck out Brian McCann. The next batter, Jordan Schafer grounded an RBI single to left to plate two and cut the Mets lead in half. Hawkins then retired Justin Upton on a grounder before giving way to Scott Rice. Jason Heyward greeted Rice with what was scored a double to right field (the ball clanked off Lucas Duda‘s glove at first base). That cut New York’s lead to 4-3 and resulted in Bobby Parnell entering to attempt a four out save after Rice intentionally walked Freddie Freeman to load the bases. Parnell got the job done, retiring Chris Johnson to end the threat.
In the ninth, Parnell worked around a one out infield single to close out the victory.
- Matt Harvey was absolutely brilliant this afternoon. He struck out a career high 13 in his 7 innings of work while en route to his 6th victory of the year. He gave up 3 hits (1 legit) and walked 3. Harvey was charged with 3 runs (all scoring after he departed the game). In actuality, Harvey should’ve only been charged with 1 earned run. David Wright made an error with 1 on and none out in the 8th that was ruled a hit. It’s a call that should be changed.
- David Wright had a rough game in the field. He made an error in the 8th that was hilariously ruled a hit by the official scorer, and he let Dan Uggla‘s 1 out grounder play him in the 9th, resulting in an infield single.
Terry Collins nearly gave this game away in the bottom of the eighth. Matt Harvey was at 103 pitches entering the inning, and it was clear he was gassed when he walked Gerald Laird to open the inning. Harvey should’ve been pulled then, but he was left in to pitch to two more batters. Both of those batters reached base, resulting in a bases loaded, none out situation. That was Collins’ first mistake. His second mistake, was calling for LaTroy Hawkins before Justin Upton (who was on deck) was announced into the game. By screwing that up, it allowed the Braves to pinch hit with Brian McCann instead while keeping Upton on the bench. Collins’ third mistake, was bringing Scott Rice into the game with 2 outs, the score 4-2, and Bobby Parnell ready. Rice gave up a run scoring hit and Parnell was summoned anyway.
While Collins’ decision making in the eighth was terrible, so was the Mets’ defense. David Wright made an error that was ruled a hit, and the run scoring “double” that made it 4-3 clanked off Lucas Duda‘s glove. Duda was stationary, and should’ve made the play.