Mets Game 34: Loss to Pirates
Pirates 3 Mets 2
Matt Harvey sh*ts the bed on Mother’s Day as the Mets lose the series and drop into fourth place in the NL East.
Mets Game Notes
Harvey was terrible, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks in seven innings of work. That’s one baserunner an inning — can you imagine? Geez Louise, it was like watching a mere mortal pitch. Maybe the pink bats are his kryptonite, I don’t know … I just don’t understand how he expected to win a game after allowing not one but two runners to score, and not hitting any homeruns to boot.
In all seriousness, the chatter by the SNY team was that Harvey “didn’t have his best stuff.” Well, hmm … I guess that’s technically correct. But, I’d rather describe the outing as Harvey having his regular stuff. In other words, I’m not so sure that what we saw in 5 of Harvey’s first 7 starts of the year should be the expected performance; his numbers were unreal. No pitcher, even in the dead ball era, has been able to sustain a 0.60 WHIP through an entire season. Harvey’s April was tremendous, and if he kept that up through the end of September, he would have to be tested not for PEDs but for radioactive spider bites or a birth certificate registered in Smallville.
So no, Harvey didn’t have his absolute “best” stuff, but his “regular” stuff is still pretty damn good. His fastball wasn’t consistently hitting 98 MPH on the gun but it was expertly placed all around the strike zone and had plenty of movement. His slider was outstanding. His curveball and change-up played more supporting roles. Velocity can be electric and exciting, but it’s hardly the most important factor for successful pitching. If it were, then the era prior to PEDs testing would have been known more for lights-out pitching than for homerun hitting.
At the same time, I do have to be slightly concerned about the abrupt drop in velocity; Harvey’s heater was sitting around 93-94 MPH instead of the usual 97-98. Did the daytime start have something to do with disrupting his recovery or routine? Does he need to have the adrenalin going to reach the upper 90s, and he just didn’t have that kind of motivation on this particular Sunday afternoon? Is there something physically wrong? Was he simply pitching through a hangover?
If Harvey wants to win ballgames, maybe he should take more batting practice. We’ve seen that he has the talent to hit, and perhaps with more BP he’ll be able to contribute more offensively. Because he certainly isn’t getting any help from the everyday / position players. Against the immortal Jeanmar Gomez, the Mets managed one run on two hits in five frames, and scored just one more run on two hits against the Sandy Koufax clones that make up Pittsburgh’s bullpen. The Mets struck out a dozen times, making it 28 Ks in a 24-hour period. In case your math isn’t so great, let me add up the hits for you: four. Four hits. But, they did walk four times, and getting on base is all that matters, right? In the four-game series, they scored a grand total of ten runs; remember when the Mets were leading the NL in runs per game? Yeah … we call this “regression to the mean.”
Though Rice was tagged with the loss, he didn’t get any help from Brandon Lyon nor Bobby Parnell. Lyon walked a batter to push the runners ahead a base, and Parnell allowed the single by Horace Mann grad Pedro Alvarez that drove in the go-ahead run. Parnell threw 30 pitches in his four-out outing, so I’m not sure he’ll be available for Monday night’s game in St. Louis.
Next Mets Game
The Mets travel down to St. Louis to play a series with the Cardinals. Game one on Monday night begins at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast by ESPN. The pitching matchup will be Jeremy Hefner vs. Lance Lynn.