Last night, the Mets winning streak was destroyed by a Yankees team more than willing to jump on a poor outing from Jacob deGrom. The Mets offense looked weak, and one imagines the Bombers took comfort in taking the first game of the series and stymying—for the moment—all talk of the Mets reclaiming New York from the Evil Empire.
For the moment, that is.
Today, on the other hand, the Mets looked like a different team. Like a team bent on plundering that Empire and reclaiming their honor as a franchise. Like a team that can win, win often, and win against the best.
And win we did this afternoon, thanks in no small part to a masterful performance from Matt Harvey.
From three batters in, one knew this game was going to be different than the last one. Though CC Sabathia set the first two Mets down in order, Lucas Duda came up and smacked the second pitch he saw into the right field seats to give the Mets a quick 1-0 lead. (The question remains, though: what are the Mets going to do when Duda is slated to face lefties? Seriously. It’s not fair for him to abuse them as he has this season.)
On the other side of things, Harvey was cruising. He capped off his first inning with a glorious strikeout of Alex Rodriguez, in which the notorious fastball hitter lagged behind on two heaters, and then was felled on a filthy changeup from the Mets starter. In the second, Harvey helped himself in the field as well, when he made a barehanded play on a Brian McCann dribbler that soothed any doubts about the health of his ankle.
In fact, the only reason the Yankees got on the board before the seventh inning was because of Daniel Murphy momentarily going brain dead. In the bottom of the third, after Stephen Drew smacked a double to right-center, Didi Gregorius came up to the plate. With Gregorious not exactly crushing the ball currently or ever in his entire life; everyone knew a bunt was coming. Those in attendance knew it, those listening to or watching the game knew it. Even if you weren’t witnessing the contest, you probably felt something somewhere within you. A gnawing and palpable sensation that told you, in no uncertain terms: "OH! DIDI GREGORIUS IS GOING TO BUNT RIGHT NOW! WELL, THAT’S TO BE EXPECTED!" So when Murph failed to cover first on the inevitable bunt, and instead luxuriously sauntered over to put runners on the corners with no outs, it was a little confusing. That confusion morphed into frustration when—despite hitting into a double play—Ellsbury drove in Drew to tie the game. Thankfully, Harvey got through the rest of the inning without any real trouble.
And then, in the top of the fourth, the floodgates opened for the Amazins.
Michael Cuddyer started things off when he busted out of his slump with a rope up the middle, and then broke up a potential double play on a Daniel Murphy ground ball. This proved crucial, because after Eric Campbell flied out, Juan Lagares smacked a triple that drove in Murphy and put the Mets back on top. And the good times didn’t stop there, as Wilmer Flores drove in Lagares with a single to right, and Kevin "I-just-try-to put-the-ball-in-play-and-not-offend-people" Plawecki hit his first home run in the majors. At Yankee Stadium! And not to dumb, cheap, right field at Yankee Stadium! To legitimate, impressive left field! With the Mets now up 5-1, Curtis Granderson got on after hitting a grounder to Teixeira that forced Sabathia to actually move. This proved to be difficult, and Granderson managed to beat CC to the bag. Mercifully for the latter, John Mayberry flied out to left, and Sabathia presumably strapped on the oxygen mask in between innings.
In the top of the sixth, the Mets offense struck again. Eric Campbell led off with his first home run of the year, and after Juan Lagares’ third hit of the day, Esmil Rogers came on in relief of Sabathia. Lagares made his way to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a Wilmer Flores pop-out to Stephen Drew in foul territory, and came home on Rogers' second wild pitch of the inning that put the Mets up 7-1. They tacked on another run in the eighth when Plawecki singled to drive in Lagares, but it was all gravy at that point.
Meanwhile, at the Batcave, Harvey breezed through the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth innings. Perhaps most impressively, his pitch count stayed remarkably low the entire game. His only real mistake came in the seventh, when he left one over the dish for Teixeira, who promptly placed the ball into the right field seats. Harvey recovered though, and managed to get through the rest of the seventh, the eighth, and two-thirds of the ninth without any issue.
But, sadly, there was no complete game for Harvey today. After striking out Alex Rodriguez for the second out of the ninth, he allowed his fifth hit of the day to Teixeira, and walked McCann. With his pitch count already over the 105 pitch limit, Terry took out Harvey, who left the stadium to audible applause from the Mets fans still in attendance.
In came Carlos Torres to finish the job. He induced a ground ball to short that should have been an easy third out. Wilmer Flores fielded it cleanly, but Murph received the throw in the weirdest way he possibly could, and it looked for a moment like he hadn't kept his foot on the bag long enough. The Yankees challenged the play to no avail and the victory was sealed.
Harvey Day is always better than most days. But when Harvey Day coincides with a win over the Yankees? Why, those Harvey Days, children, are the finest Harvey Days of them all.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Juan Lagares, +20.4%; Kevin Plawecki, +10.4%
Big losers: Daniel Murphy, -6.5%; Curtis Granderson, -4.0%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Juan Lagares triple, top of the fourth
Teh sux0rest play: Jacoby Ellsbury ground out, bottom of the third
Total pitcher WPA: +10.4%
Total batter WPA: +39.6%
GWRBI!: Kevin Plawecki homer, top of the fourth