It was a battle of the behemoths; the Tiger’s Max Scherzer, the AL Cy Young Favorite, and his 18-1 record against the Met’s Matt Harvey, the NL Cy Young Favorite, and his 2.25 ERA.
Harvey, despite popping his usual 96 MPH heat, did not look himself from the beginning. He worked out of his first jam in the top of the first, giving up back to back singles to Omar Infante and Miguel Cabrera. That was followed by four hits, including doubles off the bats of Andy Dirks and Max Scherzer, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Harvey would continue to work in and out of trouble, giving up 2 hits in the third and 3 in the seventh, despite not giving up a single run.
Scherzer, meanwhile, was dominant. He only allowed 1 hit through the first five innings – a seeing eye single that Scherzer promptly followed up with three consecutive strikeouts. The Mets wouldn’t knock on the door until the fifth, when they threatened to tie and possibly take the lead. 2B Daniel Murphy got things started with a ground ball through the hole at short, past the glove of the slow footed Miguel Cabrera. After Marlon Byrd struckout, Ike Davis drilled a line drive to right, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd with only one out. A walk to Wilmer Flores then set up the bases loaded for Juan Lagares, an outfielder carrying a .785 OPS since the all star break.
Scherzer, though, then unfurled three signature lightning fastballs, and set down Lagares on strikes. John Buck, whose solid power had the potential to give the Mets a 4-2 lead, was up next, but popped out to end the inning. The Tigers would not look back from there, tacking on another run while their Jullpen trio of Jose Alvarez, Jose Veras, and Joaquin Benoit closed the game out, not allowing a single Mets baserunner.
>Max Scherzer has become the third pitcher ever to go 19-1, the first since Roger Clemens in 2001
>Matt Harvey still ranks 22nd in the NL with 9 wins, despite ranking 2nd with a 2.27 ERA, and first with 191 strikeouts
>Ike Davis continues to hit well, going 2 for 3 with a double and a walk
>After consecutive losses to the Tigers, the Mets are now 10-6 in interleague play
Matt Harvey was certainly not as dominant as he normally is – his 13 hits allowed attest to that -but that fact just seemed to prove just how good of a pitcher Harvey is. Even without his best stuff, his bulldog mentality allowed him to repeatedly work out of trouble and somehow hold this Tigers lineup, which ranks second in baseball, to only two runs.
The lineup, however, just proved to be anemic as always. They were only mediocre with Wright, and his loss seems to have just ruined them. No runs on three hits today, one run on ten hits yesterday? Juan Lagares is nice on defense and he’s had his moments at the plate, but he’s hitting .233 in the month of August. John Buck is simply not a starting catcher, and Omar Quintanilla doesn’t have a whole lot of value even as a backup. The Mets are just repeatedly proving why Alderson needs to acquire a hitter in the offseason, or this team is not going anywhere in 2014.