First-Place Mets Beat Padres Behind Harvey’s 10Ks

Published on: 3rd April, 2013


matt harvey
First-Place Mets Beat Padres Behind Harvey's 10Ks  | read this item

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New York – The New York Mets have been picked by most pundits to finish at or near the bottom of their division, this season. However, the old adage, “you are only as good as your last well-pitched game,” can certainly be applied to Terry Collins’ team almost every time Matt Harvey or Jon Niese are scheduled to pitch. In fact, after tonight’s 8-4 win over the San Diego Padres, the first-place Mets (2-0) are feeling pretty good about themselves.

Funny how a couple of top-flight starting pitchers can change a team’s outlook and its confidence.

Following up on Niese’s masterful opening day win, Harvey, the 24-year old righthander with the 97mph fastball, dominated the Padres at Citifield in front of a sparse crowd of about 6,000 freezing fans. In doing so, Harvey continued to show the sparkling talent he exhibited last season as a mid-season rookie call up when he wowed National League hitters with his control and velocity.

Making his 11th career start — fifth at home — Harvey warmed up quickly in the frosty conditions. The Mets’ 2010 No. 1 draft pick (seventh overall) didn’t allow a baserunner until Everth Cabrera singled to center field leading off the fourth and faced 22 batters, one over the minimum.

Mets are counting on Duda for power

The Mets used home runs by Ike Davis, John Buck, and yes, Lucas Duda to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the first four innings, then tacked on another four runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach for the Padres, themselves projected to struggle this season.

Duda swung the bat tonight in a way Mets manager Terry Collins could only hope and dream will continue throughout the season.  He drove a 1-1, second-inning pitch from Clayton Richard into the Pepsi Porch in rightfield, his fifth career home run against a lefty. He also doubled in the fourth, turning on an inside fastball from Richard and sending it down the right field line.

“Lucas’ ability to hit is huge for us,” said Collins. “If Lucas and Davis are hitting the ball like that, it’s going to be a tough lineup to get through. He’s such an important part of our lineup, This year, I just want him to relax and have the kind of year he’s capable of.”

Meanwhile, Harvey pitched seven innings before Collins decided to give the 8-0 lead to the bullpen. Harvey allowed only one hit and thoroughly dominated the Padres lineup. He didn’t baffle them with that fastball of his. He dominated.

“I just wanted to go out there and pound the zone,” said Harvey. “It was pretty cold but I felt my pitches well, especially my fastball.”

This kid looks like the truth right now.  It’s got to make Collins and the first-place Mets feel like the future is bright, especially when Harvey is on the mound.

“He’s a little different than he was last fall,” Collins said. “Last fall he wanted to show everybody that his stuff was plus stuff. … He’s becoming a pitcher.”

It’s okay, Mets fans. If you want to dream a little, even at this early juncture of a new season, about what will be the centerpiece of the Mets roster for the foreseeable future – Harvey, Jon Neise, and soon, Zack Wheeler. In fact, when Wheeler finally makes his way to Queens, it may not be outlandish to believe these Mets will be a very good ballclub anytime any of their baby starters take the mound. And that dream of yours may well become a nightmare for National League hitters.

NOTES: The Mets announced the crowd as 22,239 at the ballpark. That was the only untruth about the whole night.







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