Tonight in San Francisco, the Mets played the Giants in the first game of a three game set.
Jul 8, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcherMatt Harvey
(33) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the fifth inning at AT
Matt Harvey was shaky early on, unable to locate his fastball and not confident in his secondary pitches. His inability to finish hitters off resulted in Buster Posey putting the Giants ahead 2-0 in the first inning when he lifted a two out, two run homer to left center. After a long second inning, Harvey settled in.
In the sixth, a few solid hits and a host of misplayed balls by the Giants allowed the Mets to go ahead 3-2. Eric Young, Jr. led the inning off with a double that was played into a triple by Giants left fielder Andres Torres. Daniel Murphy followed that by driving Young home with a soft single to left (a ball that Torres should’ve caught). David Wright then grounded a ball to third base that Pablo Sandoval dove for. Sandoval threw to second late, and Marco Scutaro threw wild to first. That allowed Daniel Murphy to move to third base on the play. Murphy came in to score the go ahead run when Ike Davis grounded into a run scoring double play. After a misplay in the outfield by Gregor Blanco turned a Marlon Byrd single into a triple, Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck out swinging to end the frame.
Matt Harvey was at 107 pitches after the sixth, but Terry Collins allowed him to go out for the seventh. After Hunter Pence led off the inning with a triple, Brandon Crawford drove him in on the next pitch when he lined an RBI single to center. That made it 3-3. Andres Torres bunted Crawford to second, but Harvey retired the next two hitters to keep the game tied.
After both teams failed to score in the eighth or ninth inning, the game headed to extras and turned into a marathon affair.
The Mets had a chance to take the lead in the 11th, with runners on second and third and two outs. Marlon Byrd hit a sharp grounder that appeared destined for the outfield, but shortstop Brandon Crawford dove, snagged it, and threw out Byrd at first base to save two runs.
With one out in the bottom of the 11th, David Aardsma got Buster Posey to pop up to shallow right field. Daniel Murphy called for it, but got turned around and muffed the play – allowing Posey to reach second base. With first base open, Terry Collins had Aardsma walk the slumping Pablo Sandoval. After Hunter Pence flew out to deep right field, Collins replaced Aardsma with Scott Rice to face the lefty hitting Brandon Crawford. Rice got Crawford to pop out to shallow center on the first pitch he threw, and the game moved to the 12th.
The Mets threatened in their half of the 12th, but got unlucky when a laser off the bat of Omar Quintanilla was caught by Pablo Sandoval and turned into a double play. After Greg Burke recorded the first two outs in the bottom of the 12th, he allowed back to back seeing eye ground ball singles to Gregor Blanco and Marco Scutaro, but struck out Brandon Belt swinging to keep things tied.
In the bottom of the 13th, with Pablo Sandoval on first base with two outs, Brandon Crawford doubled to right field to put runners on second and third. The Mets then walked Andres Torres intentionally to load the bases and bring up Cole Gillespie. On a 2-2 count, Greg Burke wiggled out of trouble by getting Gillespie to ground out to shortstop.
After another scoreless inning and a half, the Giants came up in the bottom of the 15th against Josh Edgin. After getting ahead 0-2, Edgin hit Pablo Sandoval with a pitch in the foot to open the frame. After a bunt by their reliever moved Sandoval to second base, Edgin walked Brandon Crawford. After Andres Torres grounded out to third (forcing Crawford out at second), Edgin walked Cole Gillespie intentionally after the count was 2-1 to load the bases and bring Gregor Blanco to the plate. Edgin then escaped the jam by getting Blanco to ground out to first base.
Eric Young, Jr. singled with one out in the top of the 16th and stole second. On the steal, the ball sailed into center field and Young would’ve been able to advance to third. However, Young had already called for time and didn’t see the ball go into the outfield. After Daniel Murphy grounded out to second base (moving Young to third), Bruce Bochy brought in the lefty Javier Lopez to intentionally walk David Wright. Terry Collins sent up Anthony Recker to pinch hit, and he smacked a routine grounder to shortstop Brandon Crawford. Crazily, the sure-handed Crawford booted the ball, allowing Young to score from third base with the go ahead run.
In the bottom of the 16th, Bobby Parnell walked Marco Scutaro leading off the inning and gave up a one out single to Buster Posey to put runners on first and second. After Parnell struck out Pablo Sandoval for the second out, he got Guillermo Quiroz to ground out to third to end a game that lasted nearly 5 and a half hours.
- Matt Harvey got the start for the Mets and settled in after throwing 50 pitches during a rough first 2 innings. Overall, Harvey tossed 7 innings of 3 run ball. He allowed 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6 while throwing 121 pitches. His ERA for the season is at 2.35.
At 107 pitches, and after struggling mightily through the first few innings of the game, it made absolutely no sense to allow Matt Harvey to pitch the seventh inning. Forget the fact that he gave up a run in the inning. That’s secondary. Under any circumstance, Harvey should’ve been taken out after the sixth. When you take into consideration the fact that the Mets are limiting Harvey’s innings this year, and that he’s pitching on regular rest Saturday in order to appear in the All-Star Game next Tuesday, leaving him in to pitch the seventh tonight was a real head scratcher.
This game featured perhaps the worst home plate umpiring display in the history of baseball. Rookie umpire Adam Hamari was brutal all night. With regularity, he called pitches that were a foot low strikes, pitches that were a foot and a half outside strikes, and pitches that were above the letters strikes. He of course also called pitches that nicked the corners balls. It was a pathetic display that incensed Terry Collins, Omar Quintanilla, and several other members of both teams. By the time extra innings rolled around, you could pretty much count on one instance during each at-bat when a player would turn around incredulously at Hamari.
This season, the Mets have played four games of 15 innings or more for the first time since 1968. The Mets had lost their three previous 15 inning or more affairs, but they finally caught a break amidst the fog and seagulls in San Francisco tonight.