Five innings later, Harvey could bask in a loud ovation as he slowly walked to the dugout after a three-strikeout inning. The bookends of his night were encouraging, but they failed to tell the complete story of an outing rife with control problems.
Instead, it was Michael Conforto who carried the Mets, with two home runs and a career-high four R.B.I., to a 9-3 win over the San Diego Padres. Conforto now has 13 home runs, a career high.
Conforto led off the bottom of the first inning with a homer over the right-field wall off Padres starter Jhoulys Chacin, whom the Mets bombarded. They made it through their entire lineup in the first inning, and when Conforto added a two-run single in his second at-bat of the inning, Chacin was pulled, having thrown just 40 pitches and collected only two outs while allowing seven runs and eight hits.
Graded on a curve against Chacin, Harvey had a Cy Young Award-worthy night. But despite crowd support for the majority of the game, Harvey’s first start at home since April 27 was not overly encouraging, particularly against a team that entered the day with the worst record in the majors.
Harvey was credited with the win, striking out six in five innings. He allowed two runs and three hits, but he also walked four.
“A little shaky,” Harvey said, describing his outing. “Obviously, you go out there and give up as many walks as you did and throw five innings and creep around 100 pitches, it’s not ideal.”
Harvey opened the game strongly, topping out at 96 miles per hour and retiring the Padres in order. But he still did not quite look like the young, brash ace who pitched through a bloodied nose, or the snarling pitcher who worked a dominant eight innings in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series.
There were times when Harvey caught the ball from catcher Rene Rivera and walked back to the rubber with his head down, occasionally jerking his right arm as if he could exorcise, with force, the kinks that were causing him to miss the strike zone. Then there were moments before he delivered the ball in which he held it, massaging and then examining it, seemingly questioning why it could not reach his desired targets.
Harvey’s uneven evening was exemplified by the third inning.
He opened by walking Craig Stammen, the reliever who replaced Chacin. After a forceout, Harvey walked Yangervis Solarte and then led with two balls against Wil Myers. That prompted the Mets’ pitching coach, Dan Warthen, to make his second visit in two innings, hoping to correct the glitches that had Harvey firing wildly.
Before the game, Manager Terry Collins said his top priority was for Harvey to pitch with confidence. Harvey regrouped to strike out Myers, and Ryan Schimpf lined out to end the inning. When Harvey entered the dugout, Collins clapped his hands vigorously and slapped his pitcher hard on his backside. After the fifth inning, Harvey’s night was done, and Collins gave him another hearty slap on his back.
“Obviously, he wasn’t real sharp tonight, but I told Dan on the bench today, we all want this guy to rise to the top so fast because we know how good he can be,” Collins said, adding: “His command wasn’t very good and velocity was down, but he worked. He had to work hard to get us through the fifth inning, and he did that.”
The Mets are hopeful that YOENIS CESPEDES will begin a rehabilitation assignment in the next couple of days as he recovers from a left hamstring strain that has kept him out since April 28. … JOSH SMOKER was recalled, and HANSEL ROBLES was optioned to Class AAA Las Vegas. Smoker entered in the sixth inning, allowing a home run by Ryan Schimpf on his first pitch. … STEVEN MATZ, who started the season on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation, threw 78 pitches for Las Vegas on Tuesday, allowing five runs in four innings. … JAY BRUCE left Tuesday’s game with back tightness.
Published at Wed, 24 May 2017 03:20:27 +0000