Mets Game 111: Win Over Rockies

Mets 5 Rockies 0

Matt Harvey finally gets run support. Though, the game was much closer than the score might indicate.

Mets Game Notes

It was a tight, 1-0, then 2-0 ballgame until the bottom of the 8th, when debutante Wilmer Flores cleared the bases with a double to create the final score. Despite the big day by the Mets’ top position prospect, the story of the evening was Matt Harvey, who absolutely dominated the Rockies en route to his first career shutout.

Harvey allowed only four hits — one was an infield single on a bad call by the first-base umpire, another was a liner off his knee in the final frame. I only saw maybe three solidly hit balls against him by the Rockies hitters, and at least one was a foul ball. The Rox were geared up for the 97-MPH fastball and swinging whenever they saw it, albeit without success. Much of the time, they were fooled by the location of the fastball or by an off-speed pitch. Lots and lots of feeble flailing by the Colorado hitters, who grounded out fourteen times.

In addition to the double, Flores also hit a single earlier in the ballgame for his first career hit. It appears that he can swing the bat, but what else he can do is questionable for now. He doesn’t run very well == in fact, he looks like he’s in pain when he’s running the bases — and it’s impossible to judge his fielding skill since this was his first time playing third base since last year. He’s not terribly athletic — he reminds me a bit of Lucas Duda the way he lumbers around, and his throwing style is funky. Again, it’s not fair to judge the arm since he’s been throwing from second base all year. I’m just going on body movement, and it’s far from smooth. But the swing looks good, so there’s hope.

The aforementioned infield single against Harvey came on what appeared to be a bad call — as we viewers had the benefit of slow-motion replay. Am I the only one who notices that whenever there is a bad umpiring call by a rookie umpire, Gary Cohen makes certain to identify the ump as “rookie umpire —-” ? It’s kind of annoying. I mean, the way he says it, one might guess it was the umpire’s first-ever ballgame, and/or that his judgment is somehow impaired by the fact he’s in his first year.

In the ninth, Rockies hitter Charlie Blackmon ripped a rare liner off of Harvey’s right knee. Harvey shook it off, but there was adrenalin running through his body. Hopefully the bruise won’t affect his next start. Something to keep an eye on.

Sorry about game 110. I was in St. Louis for a company meeting and never got around to watching the game. Game 112 won’t be covered until later in the evening, as I’ll be at work during its progress.

Next Mets Game

The series wraps up with a 12:10 PM getaway day start on Thursday afternoon. Dillon Gee takes the ball against Tyler Chatwood.

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. TexasGusCC August 8, 2013 at 12:41 am
    I was watching Flores hit during that at bat in the eighth to see his demeanor. With the bases loaded, he seemed calm, did not overswing and just looked to hit the ball square. That’s a good approach. No wonder he gets so many RBIs, he is calm in those situations.
  2. James August 8, 2013 at 2:16 am
    MetsIn ThirdPlace. Heading For Second? I Like Collins HeSeemsTooSqueezeTheMostFromHisPlayers. Sorry SwypeIs Misfiring.
  3. argonbunnies August 8, 2013 at 4:56 am
    I’m not usually a fan of “let them put it in play, ya got 8 gloves out there” and “save your bullets”. I’d rather get 5-6 great innings and a guy tiring in the 6th or 7th, than a guy getting pounded from the get-go. But Matt Harvey throwing 74% strikes and taking 2mph off his fastball (against the Rockies (away from Denver))? Awesome.

    Harvey now has 31 Ks and 1 BB in his last 4 starts.

    His .497 opponent OPS would be in historic company. Here are the only pitchers since 1954 with better numbers:
    1968 Bob Gibson .469
    2000 Pedro Martinez .473
    1995 Greg Maddux .482
    1968 Luis Tiant .495

    Since 1915, his .858 WHIP trails only:
    2000 Pedro Martinez .737
    1995 Greg Maddux .811
    1968 Dave McNally .843
    1968 Bob Gibson .853
    1965 Sandy Koufax .855

    If he can keep this up, we’re talking about an all-time great season.

    • TexasGusCC August 8, 2013 at 8:18 am
      Thanks for the info Argon. You’re right, Awesome.
    • James August 8, 2013 at 9:13 am
      Argon great job. If accurate, noticeably missing from those lists is Tom Terrific. Last night I began to think that Harvey was better than Seaver who did not really have a change up, for example. In any case, Gooden also had an amazing season but he doesn’t show up on this list either. I think the reason is that even though Harvey is a power pitcher, he has been giving up very few homeruns which keeps OPS down. To reach Seaver class, he will have to keep this up for about 8-10 years, so we shall see, we shall see.
      • argonbunnies August 8, 2013 at 5:58 pm
        Seaver’s best statistical season:
        1971 – .206 .252 .297, .946 WHIP, per 9: 6.6 H, 0.6 HR, 1.9 BB, 9.1 K

        Gooden:
        1985 – .201 .254 .270, .965 WHIP, per 9: 6.4 H, 0.4 HR, 2.2 BB, 8.7 K

        Harvey:
        2013 – .190 .232 .265, .858 WHIP, 6.1 H, 0.4 HR, 1.6 BB, 10.0 K

        Best Mets pitching season ever? Well, Seaver was 20-10 with a 1.76 ERA in 286 innings and Gooden was 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA in 277 innings. Harvey won’t come close to any of those totals this season.

        • DaveSchneck August 8, 2013 at 8:22 pm
          AB,
          Nice analysis. Those innings totals count a should not be overlooked, but an OPS against under .500 is downright pornographic.
        • argonbunnies August 9, 2013 at 4:03 am
          Giggity.
    • james August 9, 2013 at 9:56 am
      rpg is nice, but can be inflated by lopsided victories. I would guess harvey has had a couple of those, and then a lot of 1 and 2 run games by the mets if memory serves me right. better stat is the number of games the team scores 3 or more runs as a percentage of starts. Anyone want to run those numbers? ;-)
  4. Joe August 8, 2013 at 10:31 am
    It is the sign of his great season that this isn’t even his first NINE innings game. He just had a no decision that last time he pitched one. Getting a team to swing and put balls in play is ideal, since it keeps his pitch count down. A key way to beat Harvey can be to out last him. This was the approach back in the day during those Red Sox/Yanks pitching duels involving Pedro Martinez. A guy like Pettite went mano-o-mano and the Yanks got to him in the 8th.
  5. crozier August 8, 2013 at 11:09 am
    Nice to see the Mets provide a little more support for Harvey, though the claim (which I’ve certainly made) that Met bats tank when he pitches is an illusion. Harvey and Hefner receive identical support at 3.91 RPG, with Gee just behind them at 3.77. It was Marcum, at 2.9, who got the worst of it.

    And if the Mets provided for Harvey as they’ve done for Wheeler so far – 4.9 RPG – he’d probably have 14 wins, and the Mets might resemble a .500 team.

    Yeah, I know, for all that’s worth.

    • crozier August 8, 2013 at 9:02 pm
      Just want to add to this comment, given the Mets 2 runs scored for Gee today. His run support is in decline, while he continues to be their second strongest starter. I guess 2 runs is enough. For now.
    • James August 9, 2013 at 9:59 am
      rpg is nice, but can be inflated by lopsided victories. I would guess harvey has had a couple of those, and then a lot of 1 and 2 run games by the mets if memory serves me right.i would say that RPG may be more flawed than the average stat, more interesting would be the median number of runs scored or..better stat is the number of games the team scores 3 or more runs as a percentage of starts. Anyone want to run those numbers?
      • crozier August 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm
        You’re correct, James, RPG is hardly a be-all, end-all, but it’s nice short-hand when you have a sample size of 23 starts – which Harvey, Gee, and Hefner all have. Remove the outliers – say, the two highest scoring and two lowest scoring games – and you have 19 starts each.

        The median for Harvey and Gee is 4, while Hefner’s is 3.

        Gee twice had run support of 10;
        He was supported with 3 or fewer runs 11 times;
        His RPG over 19 starts: 3.42.

        Hefner twice had run support of 9;
        He was supported by 3 or fewer 14 times;.
        His RPG over 19 games: 3.6.

        Harvey twice had run support of 8;
        He was supported by 3 or fewer runs 10 times;
        His RPG over 19 games is 3.8.

        Minus Wheeler, Harvey remains the clear winner in run support. But it’s lousy run support all the same.