Matt Harvey Struggles After Rain Delay, Diamondbacks Win 5-3

Well, Harvey Day quickly became Harvey after dark by virtue of another rain delay (this one lasting an hour and 50 minutes). The Citi Field faithful (many more than usual, in fact) had no qualms about waiting it out, hoping to see some fireworks on Fireworks Night. The Arizona Diamondbacks looked upset at having to delay their non-observance of the holiday, loading the bases on a pair of singles and a walk. Martin Prado, who has killed the Mets in the past, came up empty in grounding into an inning-ending 6-6-3 double play to get Harvey out of the inning unscathed.

Eric Young, after getting a second chance on a foul tip, launched a ball about 35 feet and beat out the non-throw for an infield single. That would be all though, as Daniel Murphy popped out to third and David Wright grounded into a double play of his own.

Though Harvey’s command continued to look a bit shaky (albeit improving) in the second, he nonetheless got a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Jason Kubel, Cody Ross, and Cliff Pennington in order. Marlon Byrd looped a single to left to open the second. After a pop-up from Josh Satin, Randall Delgado struck out Kirk Nieuwenhuis and John Buck to send it to the third.

Harvey opened the third striking out Delgado, and coaxed a flyout of Tony Campana. Aaron Hill, who started the first inning almost-rally, reached on a throwing error after beating a poor, bouncing throw from David Wright. No matter, as he struck out Eric Chavez to end it. Delgado struck out both Omar Quintanilla and Matt Harvey on the minimum 3 pitches each before getting Eric Young, who worked the count some, to ground out to second base.

Miguel Montero fought back from an 0-2 deficit to ground a base hit past Daniel Murphy. Harvey then got an almost-double-play out of Martin Prado, failing only as Prado narrowly beat the throw from Murphy. Harvey got his sixth strikeout on Jason Kubel on a high fastball. The Mets would get out of the inning on a phenomenal play by Omar Quintanilla, who laid out behind the infield to snag a ball and flip to Daniel Murphy just in time for the out.

Daniel Murphy, recently slumping, laced a ball off the left-center field wall and was called out on an excellent throw and extremely close play from center fielder Tony Campana. David Wright, who slid from a 3-0 count to 0-2 golfed a pitch into the left field seats for his 13th home run of the year and a 1-0 Mets lead. Two batters later, Smooth-as-Josh-Satin worked a long count before hitting his first Major League home run to nearly the same spot as David. KKirKK Nieuwenhuis then watched strike three to end the inning.

Matt Harvey went to work with his lead, and gave up a one-out hit to Delgado. Campana grounded a potential double play ball, but there was no chance to get both once Wright double clutched. Campana stole second (the second steal allowed in Matt Harvey’s career), but it would be for naught as he got Hill for his seventh K of the evening.

John Buck hit a hard ball down the third base line, but couldn’t get it past Martin Prado. Omar Quintanilla and Matt Harvey both swung at strike three to send the game to the sixth.

Harvey would again run into a jam, with a one-out walk to Montero and a single to Prado. He would come back to strike out Jason Kubel, but Cody Ross would hit his second home run of the series to give Arizona the 3-2 lead. Cliff Pennington followed that up with a single, and Matt Harvey closed out the sixth by striking out the pitcher.

Eric Young singled again, and Daniel Murphy popped up again. David Wright flied out to the warning track, and Marlon Byrd grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

Matt Harvey opened the seventh by walking Campana and allowing a flare single to Aaron Hill. Chavez followed that up with an RBI double to left field to end Matt Harvey’s night. Scott Rice came in and allowed a sacrifice fly to Montero before walking Martin Prado and Jason Kubel to load the bases. Cody Ross could only muster a pop up off David Aardsma though, and a Pennington strikeout stranded three. Matt Harvey’s final line: 6+ IP, 9 hits, 3BB, 5ER, 9K.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis laced a single in the bottom half of the second, but that would be it for the Mets’ seventh.

Omar Quintanilla, having made the last out of the inning, came out on the double switch for Josh Edgin. Jordany Valdespin, batting ninth, replaced him at short stop. Edgin would get a fly out, strike out, and ground out in a six-pitch eighth inning.

Valdespin and Young both grounded out before Daniel Murphy launched a solo home run, bringing the game to 5-3. David Wright followed that up with a ground rule double to center, bringing the tying run to the plate in Marlon Byrd. Byrd flied out to shallow left center though, sending it to the ninth with the Mets down by two.

Edgin, opening the ninth, would retire Chavez before giving up a hit to Montero. Collins would bring in Bobby Parnell in a double switch, with Monday’s hero Andrew Brown replacing Byrd in right field. Bobby Parnell got two quick outs to get the Mets to the bottom of the ninth and Heath Bell.

Heath Bell fell behind 3-0 on Josh Satin, but came back to strike him out. Kirk Nieuwenhuis popped up to Prado in the infield. John Buck was able to single to bring Brown to the plate as the tying run. Brown wasn’t able to fly deep enough though, as Bell was able to convert the save opportunity and seal the Arizona win.

Notes:

> It’s late. The Mets played 13 innings on Monday, and have had a combined 3 hours, 32 minutes of rain delays the past two games.

> Matt Harvey had a rough first inning, but settled down well toward the end of the second inning and cruised up until the sixth inning. Miguel Montero worked 22 pitches (by my count) in his first three at bats, forcing him to work harder than necessary.

Thoughts:

I’ve been a fairly ardent Terry Collins supporter, but he made a big mistake by allowing Harvey to start the seventh after struggling through the sixth. This is the third time he’s done this – on June 18th against Atlanta (in which Harvey allowed three earned runs in the eighth) and May 22nd against Cincinnati (in which Harvey allowed two earned runs in the seventh). Not that this is about Harvey above others on the team, but the bullpen (however poor) exists for a reason, and that’s now seven earned runs that could have been avoided. Without Harvey going back out in those games, his ERA would be 1.76 right now and the Mets would likely have another win or two.

Josh Satin has been on fire lately. It’s pretty obvious his BABIP (.485 entering tonight) is going to normalize significantly, but home runs don’t count toward BABIP. It’s a shame though, as Ike Davis is starting to come around in AAA, and the Mets only have one spot for them both. Lucas Duda also figures into this somehow, and the production of Young, Byrd, and Brown in the outfield it’s harder to justify putting Duda in left. There’s going to be a crunch somewhere soon, and it further motivates Sandy Alderson to find moves to make as the trade deadline approaches.

Topics: Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Josh Satin, Matt Harvey, New York Mets, Rising Apple

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