BY: BRIAN KREPS
PHOENIX – All that talk of New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey possibly having a “dead arm” seems to have been way overblown.
The Mets ace gave up just two runs and six hits while striking out nine in seven innings of work, during a 6-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday at Chase Field in front of 18,954 in attendance.
“Matt Harvey’s stuff was nasty, really good, and that’s why he is one of the young, bright stars in Major League Baseball,” said Arizona Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale.
Despite Harvey’s nasty stuff, the Diamondbacks scored first, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia blasted a solo home run in the second inning. It was his second home run of the season, and first with Arizona.
That would be the only score of the game for either team in the first five innings, as Arizona’s starter Robbie Ray might have actually outpitched Harvey, at least for a while. Ray tossed five scoreless innings, but didn’t factor into the decision, as he left after the fifth, having thrown 110 pitches.
Hale said that, despite the high pitch count, he was happy with Ray’s effort.
“He (Ray) didn’t give up any runs, but with over a hundred pitches, and a history of (a) high pitch count, he needs to be able to put hitters away. He was able to limit the damage, and gave us a chance to win,” Hale said.
In the sixth inning, the Mets got to Arizona reliever Dominic Leone, scoring three runs to take a 3-1 lead. The inning started with consecutive singles by Wilmer Flores and John Mayberry Jr. The next batter, Juan Lagares, hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing Mayberry out at second base. With runners on the corners, Kevin Plawecki doubled, driving in Flores and Lagares. Harvey then helped himself, as he singled, moving Plawkecki to third. Ruben Tejada would follow with a sacrifice fly to score Plawecki.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt added some excitement for the home team, as he smacked a 2-0 pitch for a solo home run – his 16th of the year – which cut Arizona’s deficit to 3-2. However, David Peralta flied out, and Chris Owings struck out to end the inning. That would be the closest the Diamondbacks would get.
The Mets scored one in the eighth to build a 4-2 lead.
New York added some insurance runs, and put the game out of reach in the top of the ninth. With two outs, Flores reached on a costly error by shortstop Nick Ahmed. Mayberry Jr. then cracked a two-run home run off reliever Daniel Hudson, making the score 6-2. The home run was the second of the season for Mayberry Jr. Arizona couldn’t score in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Mets the win in the first of four games with Arizona this weekend.