Today at Citi Field, the Mets and Phillies set up an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel. The Mets sent Matt Harvey to the mound. Harvey went into the game at 7-2, with a 2.35 ERA. The Phillies countered with Cliff Lee, who entered today’s action at 10-3 with a 2.86 ERA. Both were National League All Stars this year. The stage was set, yet the day belonged to Harvey. The Mets’ ace pitched 7 innings, allowing no runs on just three hits while striking out 10. Incredibly, Harvey’s fastball averaged 97.48 MPH on the day. He threw 112 pitches, 75 of which were strikes. He effectively mixed in sliders and change ups, while relying primarily on”good ole number 1″ to set everything up. It was vintage power pitching, and Harvey made relatively easy work of the Phillies, as he did on June 23rd in Philadelphia.
Harvey received all the runs he would need in the bottom of the first, when David Wright and Marlon Byrd hit back-to-back home runs with two outs. The game remained 2-0 until Juan Lagares blasted a 3-run home run off Lee in the bottom of the 4th. Speaking of Lagares, he saved the shutout in the 7th. With two outs and Delmon Young on third, John Mayberry drilled a line drive to the gap in left center. Lagares made a beautiful running catch to keep the Phillies off the board. Scott Atchison pitched the final two innings, allowing just 1 hit.
This game was reminiscent of days gone by, when Tom Seaver or Dwight Gooden were on the mound. It was complete domination by the pitcher. Harvey was locked in, worked quickly, and almost dared the Phillies to try to beat him. He hit Chase Utley with a pitch in the first. Whether or not that intimidated the Phillies is something we’ll never know. But this was going to be Matt Harvey’s day, and he essentially overmatched the Phillies on the way to his 8th win.
- Matt Harvey is amazing.
- Marlon Byrd continues to impress. He hit his 17th home run into the second deck, no easy feat at Citi Field. He leads the team with 56 RBI.
- Juan Lagares was instrumental in today’s win. He made the great defensive play described above, and added his second home run of the season. Lagares at first seemed destined for a trip back to Las Vegas, however, he has been hitting well, and his defense is nothing short of stellar.
- It was a rare day for Eric Young Jr., as he went 0 for 4 in the leadoff spot.
Up Next: The Mets welcome the Braves to Citi for 4 games beginning tomorrow night, when Dillon Gee makes the start.