The Mets won on Sunday afternoon in San Diego, Matt Harvey had his best start of the year, and the team is in now first place in the National League East.
Harvey went six innings, allowed two runs, struck out ten, and walked two. Both runs scored on a long home run off the bat of Christian Bethancourt in the bottom of the fifth inning. Harvey’s four-seam fastball averaged 96.46 miles per hour, according to Brooks, and his slider average 90.21 miles per hour—by far his hardest-throwing game of the 2016 season. And he got 19 swinging strikes on 102 pitches, an 18.6 percent rate that looks a lot more like Matt Harvey than most of his starts this year have.
With that, Harvey has a 3.57 ERA with 21 strikeouts and five walks over his last three starts, and yesterday’s start was a clear step forward. The home run Harvey allowed to Bethancourt wasn’t ideal, and home runs have been a bit of an issue for him this year. But it still won’t be shocking if he returns to his dominant form going forward.
Harvey had a good day at the plate, too. He was involved in the Mets’ second inning, as he follow up a run-scoring single by Eric Campbell with a single of his own. That allowed the Mets to eventually load the bases and score another run when Asdrubal Cabrera singled with two outs and the bases loaded.
With a 2-0 lead going into the third inning, the Mets got another run right away when Yoenis Cespedes hit a laser beam of a home run.
Harvey got into trouble in the fifth inning, as he gave up a single and the aforementioned two-run home run. He bounced back by striking out the next two batters he faced, the latter of whom was opposing pitcher Andrew Cashner. Unfortunately, Kevin Plawecki wasn’t able to handle strike three, and Cashner reached first base safely. Jon Jay followed up with a double to right field, and Cashner tried to score but was thrown out at the plate. The Padres challenged that call, as Cashner’s hand was at home plate before Plawecki’s tag touched his arm, but the replay officials upheld the call, as they determined that Cashner’s hand, which appeared to be hovering over the plate, had not touched it before he was tagged.
In the top of the sixth, Harvey again played a part in a Mets run. He hit a one-out double off the wall in center field, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on Asdrubal Cabrera's second two-out, run-scoring single of the afternoon.
With Harvey's day done after the sixth inning, Jim Henderson took over in the seventh and balked in a run but didn't give up anything else. The Mets' bullpen got into a real mess in the eighth. Jerry Blevins faced only Jon Jay, who singled. Addison Reed came in and gave up a couple of singles, but the Padres only loaded the bases and did not score in the process. Antonio Bastardo came in with the bases loaded and nobody out and got the Mets out of the inning unscathed with a strikeout, pop up, and another strikeout.
Jeurys Familia threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning to wrap up the victory with an assist from Eric Campbell, who made a very nice play at third base to retire the final batter of the day.
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Win Probability Added
Big winners: Antonio Bastardo, +55.6% WPA, Jeurys Familia, +17.3% WPA, Asdrubal Cabrera, +16.0% WPA, Eric Campbell, +12.9% WPA
Big losers: Addison Reed, -32.8% WPA, Jerry Belvins, -10.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Asdrubal Cabrera singles to score Matt Harvey in the sixth, +11.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Christian Bethancourt hits a two-run home run in the fifth, -19.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +34.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: +15.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Asdrubal Cabrera