Aug 18, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) looks in for a sign during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

8/18 Game Recap: Padres Beat Mets 4-3

 

The Mets went into the final game of their 4-game series with the Padres today, sending Matt Harvey to the mound, looking to win the series 3 games to 1. For a while, it looked as if they’d achieve that feat. The Mets scored in the top of the first inning, when Justin Turner tripled with one out. He scored on a Marlon Byrd double. The Mets added a run in the fourth, when Marlon Byrd singled to open the inning, and Josh Satin executed a hit-and-run, putting runners on first and third with no outs. Wilmer Flores delivered Byrd with a sacrifice fly.

Meanwhile, Matt Harvey was nicely controlling the game, striking out some hitters, but more importantly, pitching to contact and keeping his pitch count manageable. Harvey kept the 2-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth, when he hit Logan Forsythe with a pitch leading off. After a Nick Hundley single an Eric Stults sacrifice, Will Venable singled to score one run. Alexi Amarista then tied the game on a sacrifice fly, that looked like it would be a double in the right-center field gap. Juan Lagares made a highlight reel play to limit the damage to a sacrifice fly and a tie game. The game remained tied until the 7th, when Omar Quintanilla doubled with two outs. Terry Collins then chose to send Andrew Brown up for Harvey, who had thrown only 86 pitches. The moved worked when Brown boomed a double off the center field fence, scoring Quintanilla. The Padres tied the game in the bottom of the 8th against Gonzalez Germen, on an infield single by Chris Denorfia. Pedro Feliciano got out of that jam, but served up a game-ending home run to Venable leading off the 9th.

Thoughts:

This one stings. The game was set up for a Mets win, with early scoring and Matt Harvey initially cruising through a weak San Diego lineup. The 5th inning for San Diego featured a bloop hit for an RBI, and an infield single off Harvey’s glove. However, they all count, and the Padres tied the game. When Brown doubled in Quintanilla, justifying Harvey’s removal from the game, it looked again as though both the Mets and Harvey would win. But the bullpen could not get 9 defensive outs. Germen walked the lead off hitter in the 8th, and that’s usually an indicator of trouble ahead. Sure enough, Alonso came around to score the tying run. Terry Collins was forced to send Feliciano out for the 9th inning, with two left-handed hitters scheduled, and Scott Rice having already been used. While this was an understandable move, Feliciano is really more of a one or two batter type of pitcher at this point of his career, and he had faced two batters in the 8th.

Notes:

  • Harvey’s low pitch count (86) may set him up to pitch Friday, however  Collins  said that Harvey may still get an extra day’s rest.
  •  The Mets had only 6 hits on the day.
  •  Juan Lagares continues to dazzle with his defensive play.
  •  The Denorfia hit that tied the game was essentially a routine ground ball to  Quintanilla, on which he did not get an out (he appeared to double clutch). Wilmer Flores also made a bad play when, with runners on first and second and one out in the 8th, he chose to throw to first on a ground ball hit directly to him. He had an easy force at third. The Mets’ infield defense has been sub-par of late.
  •  Matt Harvey has now had 8 games in which he’s pitched at least 6 innings and given up 2 or fewer runs, while not getting credit for a win.
  • The Mets are 13-12 in Harvey’s starts this year.

Up Next:

The Mets go to Minnesota for a make-up game on Monday. Dillon Gee makes the start for New York, and Kyle Gibson is set to start for the Twins.

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Tags: Juan Lagares Marlon Byrd Matt Harvey Pedro Feliciano Scott Rice

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