Rough Knight

It’s time again to wonder what’s wrong with Matt Harvey. Again, he struggled against a poor Braves offense. This time, he couldn’t hold a lead. He’s not striking guys out. 

Tonight, his line was 5.1 innings, eight hits, six runs, six earned, three walks, and two strikeouts. His start was more frustrating than those numbers indicate. 

After being staked to a 2-0 lead on a Jay Bruce first inning homer off R.A. Dickey, Harvey gave the lead right back by surrendering a two run homer to Freddie Freeman. The Mets then fell behind 3-2 when Harvey allowed an RBI double to Ender Inciarte

It’s odd that this was considered an earned run. The rally was started when Jose Reyes threw a ball away allowing Kurt Suzuki to reach. Despite Reyes’ arm and Suzuki’s speed, it was ruled a hit. 

The Mets tied the game at three in the third with an Asdrubal Cabrera leadoff homer. From there on out, it was all Braves. 

Things began to unravel in the fourth with some poor pitching, luck, and umpiring. Adonis Garcia  hit a lead off single, and then he moved to second on a Suzuki hit by pitch. On the hit by pitch, Suzuki actually took a full swing which should’ve negated the hit by pitch, but he was awarded first anyway. It should be no shock this was the decision as the first base umpire Larry Vanover was not good tonight. For example, he initially called Juan Lagares out on this play:

And then there was this one:

In any event, Suzuki was awarded first. Harvey then walked Dansby Swanson to load the bases despite Swanson entering the game hitting .151 and being up 1-2 in the count. Garcia then scored a run on a large hop off Dickey’s bat. Inciarte, a true Mets killer, made it 6-3 with a two RBI single. 

The Mets had things cooking in the fifth and looked to be poised to tie the score again. However, Neil Walker grounded into a double play turning first and second no out to a runner on third with two outs. Then, Nick Markakis absolutely robbed Travis d’Arnaud. It was d’Arnaud’s last at-bat of the game as he’d be lifted in the sixth for Kevin Plawecki because his wrist injury flared up again. 

Harvey pitched into the sixth, but he was removed with one out after throwing 99 pitches. He likely would’ve been hit with another run, but Lagares nailed a runner at the plate. 

The bullpen still fell apart, and like they’ve been in the past, Josh Smoker and Fernando Salas were the culprits. In the seventh, the two combined to allow three runs on four hits and a walk. 

Like that, the Mets had a horrible 9-3 loss dropping them back to last place which is a place no one thought they’d be at this point in the season. 

There were some positives.  Michael Conforto (2-4, R, BB) and Bruce (2-5, 2 R, HR, GS, 6 RBI) stayed hot at the plate. Cabrera hit a homer. Josh Edgin and Paul Sewald were good out of the pen. Despite his struggles, Harvey is regaining his velocity hitting 98 on the gun. 

There was also the ninth inning rally. Matt Wisler loaded the bases and Bruce hit an opposite field grand slam to make it 9-7. Jim Johnson then came on and retired Walker to get the save. 

Still, this was a bad game for the Mets. Harvey struggled with his command. The bullpen struggled more than he did. The lineup past Bruce is still not hitting. They are also not winning games they should win. 

Game Notes: Curtis Granderson asked for the night off as he feels his swing is off. He made a pinch hitting appearance going 0-1.