Mets Powered by Grandy Slam
Before the game, Matt Harvey declared he figured out his mechanical problems, and that he was back. He took no chances as the Mets ore the traditional road grays instead of the blue alternates he prefers. The Mets need him to be back because he has not resembled the Matt Harvey we’ve seen:
Harvey in his career:
Bases empty: .199/.247/.296
Men on: .252/.302/.365 https://t.co/SqB05IV6Hd
— Michael Mayer (@themainemets) April 22, 2016
First inning, Harvey came out guns blazing. He got three quick outs, including one strikeout. After the first, it was a struggle. It could’ve been the same problems he’s had all year. It could’ve been the delay due to the need to change home plate umpires due to the home plate umpire getting injured on a foul tip. In any event, Harvey’s pitches were up. His velocity was generally down (about 1-2 MPH), and the Braves were making solid contact.
Fortunately, the Braves were only able to score runs in the second. The first was an RBI single by old friend Kelly Johnson. Another run would score off an RBI double by Mallex Smith. Harvey would be in trouble most of the night. He would’ve allowed more runs in the fifth but for Yoenis Cespedes’ arm:
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 23, 2016
Keith Hernandez was right. He missed the cut-off man, but it was a near perfect throw that got the runner. It reminded me of Major League when Lou Brown essentially said to Willie Mays Hayes to never do it again.
Cespedes also left his impression at the plate with his seventh game with an extra-base hit. In the seventh, he hit an RBI double to score David Wright, who hit an opposite field one out double himself. Cespedes came up gingerly after sliding awkwardly into second. It should’ve been a standup double, but he didn’t break it out of the box presumably thinking it was a homerun. A noticeably uncomfortable Cespedes stayed in the game despite the a Mets having a 6-2 lead. He would eventually have to be pulled:
Juan Lagares had already taken the field for the bottom of the eighth before the rain delay started. Yoenis Cespedes was leaving game.
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) April 23, 2016
Curtis Granderson was responsible for the other five. In the second, Granderson hit his first grand slam as a Met. In his very next at bat, he hit a solo shot off of Braves’ starter Bud Norris. Granderson looks to be rounding into his 2015 form after a tough start.
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 23, 2016
The Mets’ bullpen would come through to get Harvey his first win of the year. Antonio Bastardo pitched 1.2 innings before needing to be pulled with runners on first and second. Jim Henderson only faced one batter – it was the seventh after all- and he allowed an RBI single to Adonis Garcia. Jerry Blevins came on and ended the rally by striking out A.J. Pierzynski. Blevins was the only one to get Pierzynski out all night.
After about an hour rain delay, Addison Reed came on to pitch the eighth. Originally, it was supposed to be Blevins, but the rain eliminate that option. Reed pitched a scoreless eighth despite a throwing error from Asdrubal Cabrera.
Jeurys Familia had a save opportunity in the ninth because God has a good sense of humor. With Cespedes out if the game, Terry Collins allowed Michael Conforto hit against Eric O’Flaherty. Conforto hit a soft liner to the shortstop, and Juan Lagares was doubled off of second for the inning ending double play. It didn’t matter. Familia pitch a scoreless ninth to preserve the 6-3 win.
In any event, Harvey struggled. He only pitched five innings allowing seven hits, two earned, one walk and five strikeouts. He fought through it. He still had work to do, but at least he has a win under his belt.
Game Notes: Freddie Freeman got his first hit in 20 at bats against Bastardo, who Collins was trying to pitch for two innings. While Harvey was struggling, Travis d’Arnaud tried talking to Harvey in the dugout. A visibly frustrated Harvey wanted none of it.
On another note, Ricky Bones was the pitching coach. Dan Warthen missed the game because he was attending his mother’s funeral. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Warthen family at this time.