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.”

Scott Rice appeared in his 21st game of the season in suffering the loss. He’s on pace to appear in 100 games by the end of the year, which is four short of Iron Mike Marshall‘s all-time record.

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.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Steven May 12, 2013 at 11:11 pm
    What a disappointment these Mets have become. Basically, the May 2013 Mets have continued where the August/sept 2012 Mets left off. In fact, it’s basically the same team- substituting Harvey for Dickey and Buck in May is basically Kelly Schopach. Jason Bay has been reincarnated as Ike Davis
  2. Happy59 May 13, 2013 at 4:51 am
    Continue the rebuilding process, hire a new manager and staff….. perhaps a general manager as well……. the current manager is simply incapable of developing/molding his players. His intensity is so strong players over compensate for mistakes in an effort to appease him. Collins has simply broken this club of talented young players. Each year has become progressively worse, just ask the Angel players who revolted. [3 years in Houston & 3 in Anaheim]. How can players not be effected by a manager who looks like he is chewing nails all the time? The tension must be incredible in the dugout and clubhouse. There is plenty of season left for this talented team with a manager with a new perspective. Well, unfortunately that would require the Wilpons to eat the remainder of Collins’ contract………
    • Izzy May 13, 2013 at 8:30 am
      Continue the rebuilding process???? what rebuilding process. You can’t trade a star for one prospect years away from the bigs and build a team. you have no one left to trade. And this GM refuses to trade decent players for decent prospects that can help fill the voids. So now there is virtually nothing left to trade, there is not nearly the talent in the minors that the PR machine tells you there is (all teams spew out the PR about the great kids coming someday). Don’t beleive it about the kids. Other than Harvey who have they shown who is even close to being good? Remember Captain Kirk was gonna be a star! Thole was and Mejia and Carson and Edgin. Wake up, you need a ton of kids to make it work. This team is as shallow as they can be and the goal is still turning around the broken fortunes of the Wilpon kingsom. The Mets are a long way away from actually rebuilding.
  3. AC Wayne May 13, 2013 at 8:47 am
    Funny, when Harvey removed his pink necklace he seemed to pitch better. As for this latest loss, I have to pin it on Collins. Why did he take Lyon out in the 8th? He was crying about how his BP was shot then he goes and uses 3 pitchers in one inning in a 2-2 game no less. Has this guy learned anything yet about managing a BP?
  4. Happy59 May 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm
    Izzy, Im must admit, your far more negative than I. Apparently you don’t see anything positive about our Mets….. There are many talented players here, as I have pointed out previously we have the wrong manager to bring ouit their potential. Two plus years and little progress, first two collapse second half, this year collapsing in early May. Why does everyone else avoid discussing the obvious? Time for a new coaching staff without the highly intense Collins…….