Looking not to repeat last night’s late-night, late-inning drama, Matt Harvey set himself into gear by going 1-2-3 in the first with a strikeout, requiring only 11 pitches. Jhoulys Chacin was able to go 1-2, but Daniel Murphy singled to right center to be the night’s first baserunner. Chacin got his strikeout soon after, catching Marlon Byrd looking.
To an audible groan, Matt Harvey allowed a baserunner in the second, as Wilin Rosario singled to center field with two outs. That would be the end of it as he got a quick grounder from Nolan Arenado to shortstop. The bottom half of the inning brought out a happy SNY tradition, as this year’s Kidcaster winner got to call Ike Davis‘ eventual popout to open the second. While the booth guys were interviewing the sharply-dressed youngster, Wilmer Flores ripped a single to right center for his first career hit. John Buck followed that up with a full-count single of his own, allowing the contest winner to call Omar Quintanilla‘s at bat. Quintanilla responded positively by ripping a single to right to drive in Flores and push Buck to third. Matt Harvey, unfortunately, grounded into an inning-ending double play to keep the score there.
Harvey, pitching with the 1-0 lead, threw a quick top of the third, striking out Dexter Fowler to end the frame. Chacin pitched a quick bottom half. he allowed a leadoff walk to Eric Young Jr, but Arenado caught Juan Lagares‘ liner at his shoetops and flipped to first for an easy (if not quickly called) double play. Daniel Murphy then grounded out to short for the third out.
Charlie Blackmon grounded out to shortstop for the first out. Troy Tulowitzki ran a full count and fouled a pitch off the foot of John Buck before grounding out to Flores at third. Michael Cuddyer would single with two outs, but it wouldn’t matter as Harvey got Todd Helton looking on three pitches. Marlon Byrd flied out to shallow center to open the bottom half of the fourth. Ike Davis followed that up with a double down the left field line. Wilmer Flores popped a pitch a mile high for the second out, but a John Buck single to right would score him to double the Mets lead.
Harvey got a very quick fifth inning, needing only 7 pitches to get a pop up and a pair of groundouts. He’d strike out to open the Mets’ fifth. Eric Young followed that up with a single up the middle, and Juan Lagares struck a ball well but it was run down by Charlie Blackmon in left. Murphy made it a little easier and sent the ball directly to him for the third out.
Harvey pitched a 1-2-3 sixth, striking out Chacin swinging and getting a lazy fly ball and grounder. Marlon Byrd, doing his best to speed things along, grounded to third on Chacin’s second pitch of the inning. Ike Davis made good contact, but the ball came in a bit on him so he couldn’t get the ball deep enough to right. Wilmer Flores and his 20/80 speed couldn’t beat out a David Wright-esque barehanded play from Arenado for third out.
Harvey threw another 1-2-3 inning in the seventh, ending it by embarrassing Todd Helton with fastballs. John Buck, reverting to usual John Buck fashion, struck out on a pitch well outside for the Mets’ first out. Quintanilla and Harvey both followed that up by watching strike threes of their own to end the seventh.
After getting a strikeout to start the eighth, Nolan Arenado grounded a ball slowly to short, and was called safe erroneously after an excellent play by Omar Quintanilla to beat him by a few inches. It was alright though; two pitches later DJ LeMahieu hit an easy double play grounder directly at Q.
The bottom of the ninth started inconspicuously, with Eric Young flying out gently to right field. In an event seemingly rarer than Matt Harvey’s potential first career shutout, Juan Lagares drew a 4-pitch walk. After a Murphy fly out, Marlon Byrd struck a double over Dexter Fowler’s head. Unfortunately it bounced out of play, so Lagares (who was already around 3rd) was unable to score. Ike Davis would then be intentionally walked to load the bases for Wilmer Flores. Fortunately for the Mets, Wilmer Flores picked up his first career RBI. And, shortly thereafter, his second and third – he turned on a fastball and ripped a double down the left field line to clear the bases. John Buck grounded out, but the damage had already been done.
Charlie Blackmon lined a single off Harvey’s kneecap on Matt’s 100th pitch, and advanced to second on defensive indifference but would be stranded there on a Troy Tulowitzki pop up to second base.
> Matt Harvey threw his first career shutout tonight. No Colorado runner reached second base until the final out of the game, as he allowed only four hits. It was the first shutout (and second complete game) thrown by a Mets starter.
> Ike Davis reached base twice again tonight, keeping his on base percentage at .500 since the All-Star Break. He finished the night 1-3, and his last four hits have all been doubles.
> Wilmer Flores picked up his first major league hit (a single in the third) and his first major league RBI on a bases-clearing double in the eighth.
The strikeouts weren’t entirely there for Harvey, but he was dominant nonetheless. He stayed relaxed through the night, rarely needing to dial up his fastball- he threw mostly two-seamers.
Great game for Flores, picking up his first hit, RBI, and making good plays in the field. Ike Davis, as well, has continued his strong showing in the second half. He’s hitting .333/.500/.563 in the second half with 9 extra base hits so far.