New York Mets Recap: Matt Harvey Dominates In Return To Mound


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New York Mets Recap: Matt Harvey Dominates, Leads Mets To Series Victory Over Washington Nationals

It was a happy Harvey day indeed Thursday afternoon, as the New York Mets were able to pick up a victory over the Washington Nationals in Matt Harvey’s much anticipated return to the mound. The win gave the Mets the series victory over the Nationals, a huge feat as the Nationals are expected to run away from the rest of the NL East this season. For at least one series though, the Mets were the better team as they took two of three games.

Harvey was the story tonight and he didn’t miss a beat. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud said he seemed a little anxious and jacked up, which is understandable since he hasn’t pitched since August 2013. You wouldn’t have known it watching, as Harvey mowed down the Nationals throughout the afternoon.

Harvey pitched a stellar six innings, allowing only four hits and one walk for no runs. He also struck out nine Nationals, including a hat trick of Bryce Harper. Harvey, as expected, was on a strict pitch count, throwing 91 pitches in his six innings, but the Mets didn’t need him for more than he delivered.

Only Michael Taylor and Ian Desmond were able to do any damage to the Mets, as each recorded two hits in the game. The Nationals did all of their scoring on the bullpen, as it was too little too late.

Desmond scored two of the Nationals three runs, being knocked in with Jose Lobaton by Taylor, and pinch hitter Reed Johnson in the ninth. It was nice to see Desmond finally doing some help for the team of the jersey he was wearing, as he once again handed the Mets the lead and runs.

In the third inning, Desmond botched another ground ball, his third error of the season. It led to a four-run third inning, which was started by Michael Cuddyer knocking in his first run as a Met. Daniel Murphy had an infield single for an RBI, and then d’Arnaud continued his outstanding start to the season, getting an RBI single two batters later. He finished the game 2-4 with one run and two RBI.

The Desmond error torpedoed the afternoon for Stephen Strasburg, as he had an uneven afternoon on the mound. This was a huge matchup between Harvey and Strasburg, but Strasburg didn’t come near the performance Harvey had.

On the afternoon, Strasburg struggled a bit, giving up six total runs, three of which were earned. The Mets were able to get nine hits off of him, and he walked another three batters for 12 base runners in only 5 ⅓ innings. He did strike out five for the only positive on the afternoon for him.

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In addition to d’Arnaud, Cuddyer and David Wright each had two-hit days at the plate as well. Curtis Granderson is also proving Terry Collins’ decision to make him the leadoff hitter a smart one, as he got on base another three times, going 1-3 with two walks and one run scored. Every Mets position player got on base at least once today against the Nationals as they had a strong showing overall.

The only negative on the afternoon was the performance of Alex Torres. The recently acquired left-handed reliever from the San Diego Padres struggled in his Mets debut, making it through only 1/3 of an inning after he allowed two runs on two hits and one walk. Juerys Familia also surrendered a run in the ninth inning, as the newly anointed closer probably didn’t have the juices flowing quite the same way coming into a game with a four-run difference, not a save situation.

The Mets will continue taking their road on the show, again making another stop within the division. The next stop will be a visit further down south hopefully to warmer weather as the Mets will pay a visit to the Atlanta Braves. Jon Niese will be making his season debut for the Mets and will be opposed by Eric Stults and the surprisingly undefeated Braves.

Next: Who made the Mets' roster out of Spring Training?

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