With the Mets playing an afternoon game against the Reds today at Citi Field, I thought I’d wait until after Matt Harvey’s start to post.
Let’s take a look at how Harvey Day played out.
First of all, the Reds scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to win, 7-4. (Ike Davis decided not to try to field a Brandon Phillips smash down the first base line…it was ruled fair and Shin-Soo Choo scored the game-winning run on the play…)
Harvey wasn’t totally terrible today, but it was far from what Mets fans have begun to expect from the young righty. Over 6 1/3 innings, Harvey allowed nine hits, four runs, walked three and struck out six. Zack Cozart accounted for four of those hits – two of which were doubles. Joey Votto hit a 2-run home run.
Of Harvey’s 112 pitches, 57 were fastballs. He threw those at an average velocity of 96.5 MPH, topping out at 98.97.
I don’t think there’s too much to worry about with Harvey based on this start. For whatever reason, Cozart had his number today. Perhaps that had something to do with Joey Votto batting behind him…perhaps Cozart caught Harvey looking ahead somehow.
Harvey’s command of the strike zone was pretty good, as he threw 60.7 percent of his pitches for strikes. He also had 9.8 percent swings and misses, which was a good sign amid all the contact he gave up.
The problem on Wednesday, of course, was Ike Davis and the bullpen. Davis was 0-for-2 with a pair of walks and the defensive miscue at first. Scott Rice and Brandon Lyon did fine jobs in the seventh and eighth innings, but Bobby Parnell walked two, gave up three hits and took the loss.
If there was one bright spot, Rick Ankiel was 3-for-4 with two doubles, one triple and two RBI.
The Mets host Atlanta for a three-game series beginning Friday. After that, it’s two games at home against the Yankees before the Subway Series shifts to the Bronx with two games at Yankees Stadium.
The Yankees weren’t able to pull out another extra inning win in Baltimore, as Nate McLouth’s walk-off shot in the 10th inning off Vidal Nuno was the difference in the O’s 3-2 win.
Chris Dickerson hit solo home runs off Phil Hughes in the third and fifth innings for the O’s first two runs.
It was the latest in a long line of hard to define starts for Hughes. On one hand, he went six innings and gave up two runs on five hits, two walks and five strikeouts. Technically, it’s a quality start.
Let’s dig into the numbers a bit deeper. Of his 102 pitches, 70 were strikes. Of the strikes, 19 were looking and 12 were swinging. Hughes got 15 fly ball outs and three each of the line drive and ground ball variety. If you look at Hughes’ strike map, you can see all of the strikes high in the zone, especially the ones outside over the plate for left-handed hitters.
With five left-handed hitters in the Baltimore lineup, it’s tough for Hughes to find a compliment to his fastball. He’d rather not throw the slider or curve to lefties, so that leaves the changeup, which he only threw seven times. And simply put, he has to get the ball down. He’s lucky that some of Baltimore’s other left-handed hitters didn’t do more damage to those high pitches.
Elsewhere in baseball…
- Mike Trout hit for the cycle last night in the Angels’ 12-0 win over Seattle. He became the youngest player ever to do that in the American League at 21 years and 287 days old. He’s just the 17th player to hit for the cycle and steal at least one base in the same game.
- Jose Quintana took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in the White Sox’s 3-1 win over Boston.
- Max Scherzer gave up two hits and struck out seven over eight innings in the Tigers’ 5-1 win in Cleveland.
- Yeonis Cespedes hit a home run and Dan Straily outdueled Yu Darvish in Oakland’s 1-0 win in Arlington.
- Evan Gattis hit a two-out homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and the Braves beat the Twins in 10, 5-4.
- Zack Greinke lost for the first time at Miller Park as the Brewers beat the Dodgers, 5-2.
- Jason Grilli picked up save No. 18 in the Pirates’ 5-4 win over the Cubs.
- Pablo Sandoval’s 10th inning homer lifted the Giants to a 4-2 win at home over the Nationals.
- Justin Verlander and the Tigers look to grow their lead over Ubaldo Jimenez and the Indians tonight in Cleveland.
- James Shields pitches for the Royals in Houston. Shields has an AL-leading two complete games this season. Tonight might be No. 3.
- Francisco Liriano, who’s been great in two starts for the Pirates, makes his third tonight against the Cubs. He’s 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings. Will Liriano stay healthy the rest of the way? If he does, that’s a big plus toward the Pirates finally making the playoffs again.