Published on: 4th July, 2016
by Scott Mandel
The baseball roller-coaster ride, otherwise known as the 2016 New York Mets, is beginning to show some of that inner fortitude they demonstrated last season on their way to the National League pennant.
New York overcame a six-run deficit today to defeat the Miami Marlins, 8-6. Following a four game losing streak in which they got swept by the division-rival Washington Nationals, Terry Collins’ club has switched back into a winning streak with five in a row, including today’s comeback win.
Despite the win, all the news wasn’t as good.
Former ace, Matt Harvey, had another dismal performance today. Harvey worked just 3.2 innings and allowed six runs, five earned, on 11 hits in a no-decision. He struck out four and did not walk a batter but his 11 hits allowed tied a season-high (May 13 at Colorado) and tied for the second-most hits he’s allowed in a start in his career.
Whatever it was that the Dark Knight had found following his springtime nightmare he has lost again, and even as the surging Mets closed to within four games of the Nationals, thanks to a tie-breaking double in the eighth by Yoenis Cespedes, the fact the alpha dog’s bark was once again worse than his bite was not lost on manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen, nor should it be. And it sure wasn’t lost on Harvey.
On a day when Citi Field was looking for fireworks from him, Harvey was a dud, booed off the mound when Collins mercifully took the ball from him in the fourth inning, trailing 6-0 and looking like a 4-10 pitcher who deserved to be 4-11, saved by his team’s refuse-to-lose resilience and by his bullpen.
“From start to start things are not feeling the same.”
“You go through ups and downs. Unfortunately, this year there’s been more downs than there are ups. But we still got a long way to go and a lot more starts left, so we’ll kinda go back to the drawing board, like I have many times, and figure out how we can go back to the Washington start for that brief time [3 ²/₃ innings cut short by rain delay] and figure out how to keep that going.”
“Whether it was a slider or curveball or changeup or fastball, everything was just out of whack, and catching too much of the plate.”
Harvey lost his command in the second, watched the Marlins rake four consecutive hits, three of them following a successful challenge by Don Mattingly, and before you could say Dark Fright, it was Marlins 3, Mets 0. His fastball, which had reached 98 mph in the first inning, had settled in at 95-96 mph by the third.
Harvey fell behind Chris Johnson 3-0 leading off the fourth before surrendering a line single to right. He had already thrown 62 pitches to that point, had yielded an RBI single to pitcher Tom Koehler, and was working on a nifty eight-hitter.
It became 4-0 when he fielded a comebacker and uncorked his worst pitch of the day — low and wide to Travis d’Arnaud trying for a bases-loaded force at the plate.
METS AT HOME: New York is 5-0 to open its season-long 11-game homestand and is riding a seven-game winning streak at Citi Field dating to June 21 (two wins versus Kansas City, four versus Chicago-NL and today’s win)…The Mets are 24-16 at home overall in 2016 and 9-3 in their last 12 home contests.
With the two home runs today, the Mets have 111 home runs this season in 82 games…New York has hit 34 home runs its last 25 games…They now have 55 homers at home…The Mets are 40-15 when hitting at least one home run and 25-6 when hitting two or more homers. YOENIS CÉSPEDES: Extended his hitting streak to eight games and finished the game 3-5 with the game-winning RBI…Is batting .394 (13-33) during the streak….The streak is one game shy of his own season-best and team-best nine-game streak from April 15-29…Over his last 12 games at home, Céspedes is batting .419 (18-43) with four doubles, four home runs and nine RBI…In his last 24 games dating to June 8, Céspedes is hitting .366 (34-93) with six doubles, five home runs and 13 RBI…His three-hit day matched a season-high. JEURYS FAMILIA: Converted on his 29th save of the season and continues to lead the major leagues…Is 29-29 in save opportunities this season…Extended his franchise-record streak of consecutive saves to open a season to 29 with today’s save…Has saved 45 consecutive games in the regular season dating to August 1, 2015, extending a franchise record…It is now the sixth-longest streak in major league history, breaking a tie with Grant Balfour’s 44-game streak from 2012-2013…Brad Lidge is fifth on the list with a 47-game save streak from 2007-2009…Familia’s streak is the longest active streak in the majors…Since the start of 2015, Familia has 72 saves…Only Pittsburgh’s Mark Melancon has more (75)…Dating to June 8, Familia has tossed 13.0 scoreless innings with 15 strikeouts. TRAVIS d’ARNAUD: Connected on a solo home run in the fourth inning for his first home run of the season…His last homer came during the playoffs on October 21, 2015 at Chicago-NL off Jason Hammel (a span of 103 at-bats)…Also drove in a run in the sixth with an infield single…Is batting .448 (13-29) with one home run and seven RBI over his last nine games dating to June 24. CURTIS GRANDERSON: Hit a solo home run in the fifth inning for his 15th homer of the season…Has hit safely in each of his last five games, going 7-16 (.438) with two home runs , four RBI and four runs scored. JERRY BLEVINS: Stranded a runner at third to end the eighth inning…Has stranded 26 of 28 inherited runners this season, the third-most stranded runners in the majors…Is unscored upon in 33 of his 38 games this season. MATT HARVEY: Worked 3.2 innings and allowed six runs, five earned, on 11 hits in a no-decision…Struck out four and did not walk a batter…His 11 hits tied a season-high (also May 13 at Colorado) and are tied for the second-most hits he’s allowed in a start in his career. TOM KOEHLER: Tossed 5.0 innings and allowed two runs, earned, on seven hits in a no-decision…Struck out none and walked one…Singled in his first at-bat of the day and drove in a run…Was his second career RBI and first since June 5, 2015 at Colorado. FERNANDO RODNEY: Allowed two earned runs in the eighth inning today…Had allowed one earned run (two runs total) in 30.2 innings entering play today. ICHIRO SUZUKI: Doubled as a pinch-hitter to open the eighth inning…Was his 2,990th career hit…Is now 10 hits away from becoming the 30th player in major league history to record 3,000 hits and tying Roberto Clemente for 29th on MLB’s all-time list.