The Mets' offense is rubbish right now. That's obvious to anyone who has paid attention to the second half of the season. Tonight's game was a showcase for that rubbish, as the Mets were shut out for the second time on their 0-6 homestand. There aren't any exciting young rookies in the Mets' lineup worth talking about. However, there are some promising arms on the Mets' pitching staff giving us hope for the future, chief among them Matt Harvey. So this recap will ignore the continued struggles of David Wright, Ruben Tejada, and Jason Bay, and instead will focus on the performance of Harvey.
Harvey's ability to miss bats was on display tonight. He struck out 10 in 5+ innings while generating 13 swinging strikes out of 106 pitches. Among the batters he slayed were the talented Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, and Adam LaRoche. It's worth noting that Zimmerman exerted revenge on Harvey, taking him deep over the left-center field wall to give the Nats a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Regardless, Harvey's strikeout ability has translated from the minor leagues and is generally a great sign of future success. Bully to that.
Harvey has had a tendency to ring up high pitch counts relatively early in games; his average innings per start is now about 5.2 innings. It's not a big problem for a youngster, especially a strikeout pitcher. Stephen Strasburg has averaged around 5.2 innings per start in his MLB career. There is time to develop. Harvey exited in the sixth inning, leaving the bases loaded with no outs. He walked two and threw a wild pitch in the frame, clearly tiring even as he was still hitting 96 mph on the radar gun. The dominance Harvey displayed over some terrific major-league hitters is the takeaway tonight.
Robert Carson gets a shoutout for his fine work in relief of Harvey. He inherited the aforementioned bases-loaded, no-outs situation, and managed to get out of it without allowing a run. Three Nationals batters in a row made outs in the air against Carson. The young southpaw would do well for himself to strike out a few more batters but tonight he gets a gold star. Not-so-young southpaw Justin Hampson also wriggled out of a tough spot, inducing LaRoche to ground into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. Jon Rauch allowed a solo home run to Ian Desmond in the eighth inning. He was due to give up a bomb.
The Mets managed eight hits -- all singles -- and one walk against John Lannan and five Nationals relievers. Ronny Cedeno was picked off in the third inning with one out and Wright at the plate. Very few balls were hit hard by Mets batters tonight. That's all I have to say about that.
The Mets are 65-78, 13 games below .500. That is their worst mark of the season. After an off day on Thursday, the Mets play three games against the surging Brewers in Milwaukee this weekend. Here are the pitching matchups for the series.
Friday, September 14th: LHP Jon Niese vs RHP Mike Fiers
Saturday, September 15th: RHP Jenrry Mejia vs RHP Shaun Marcum
Sunday, September 16th: RHP Chris Young vs RHP Wily Peralta
Big winners: Robert Carson +21.5%, Justin Hampson +15.0%
Big losers: Ike Davis -18.4%, Scott Hairston -12.8%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Adam LaRoche double play in the seventh inning +15.0%
Teh sux0rest play: Ryan Zimmerman solo home run in the fourth inning -13.0%
Total pitcher WPA: +15.0%
Total batter WPA: -65.0%
GWRBI!: Ryan Zimmerman solo home run in the fourth inning