There’s nothing more exciting for Mets fans right now than a Matt Harvey start, and in the team’s first road game of the year, Harvey dazzled in Philadelphia. Roy Halladay, who started for Philadelphia, was no match for Harvey, either, as the Mets won, 7-2.
Halladay set the Mets down in order in the first inning, and Harvey walked Ben Revere, the first batter he faced. Revere then stole second, and for at least a couple of seconds, it felt like the Mets were heading down an all-too-familiar path in Philadelphia. But Harvey got Jimmy Rollins to ground out, Chase Utley to pop up, and Ryan Howard to strike out to get out of the inning unscathed.
Moments later, the Mets had all the runs they would really need to win the game. Halladay got ice-cold Ike Davis out to start the second, but Marlon Byrd drilled a double over Revere’s head in center. Halladay hit Lucas Duda with a pitch, and John Buck hit a no-doubt, three-run home run to right field to get the Mets on the scoreboard.
After Harvey’s one-two-three bottom of the third, the Mets added a run in the third. With runners on first and second and two outs, Duda singled to score Daniel Murphy and extend the Mets’ lead.
The Phillies scored their only run against Harvey in the fourth. Rollins doubled to lead off the inning, and Utley hit a ground ball to first base that Ike Davis botched. Rollins would have advanced to third anyways, but Utley should have been out. It was one of Davis’s two very strange defensive miscues, both of which happened on grounders by Utley. Howard then hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Rollins, but Harvey finished off the inning in short order after that.
Murphy hit a deep ground-rule double to get the fifth inning started, advanced to third base on a wild pitch by Halladay, and scored on a David Wright single. Davis followed up with a single, and that was the end of Halladay’s night. Chad Durbin took over for Halladay and, after loading the bases, allowed both of the runners he inherited to score on a Ruben Tejada single.
Halladay threw 99 pitches in his four-plus innings, and he was charged with all seven earned runs. Through two starts, he has a 14.73 ERA and clearly doesn’t look anything like the dominant pitcher he was in the past. It’s strange to see a pitcher who was so good for such a long stretch look as bad as Halladay did.
Harvey, however, kept the Phillies scoreless in the sixth and came back out to start the seventh despite a pitch count in excess of ninety. He retired the Phillies in order, and his night was done. In total, Harvey struck out nine, walked two, allowed three hits — one of which was a routine fly ball to center field that Kirk Nieuwenhuis probably should have caught — and just one run. He also didn’t look like he had his best stuff, but it barely seemed to matter. Through two starts, Harvey owns a 0.64 ERA and a 1.14 FIP. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Both teams were pretty quiet at the plate after that, though the Phillies did notch a run against Josh Edgin, who threw the last two innings to preserve the Mets’ large lead and the victory.
The series continues on Tuesday at 7:05 pm with Dillon Gee starting for the Mets and Cliff Lee starting for the Phillies.
SB Nation Coverage
Win Probability Added
Big winners: John Buck, +19.9% WPA, Matt Harvey, +14.2% WPA
Big losers: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, -3.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: John Buck's three-run home run in the third, +23.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Chase Utley's single in the fourth, -6.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +15.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: +34.8% WPA
GWRBI!: John Buck