The white and blue striped Mets
WHAT HAPPENED, SOMETIMES IT IS BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE:
If I had to cite one reason as to why the Mets were able to put up five runs, it would have to be that they let the Reds get themselves into trouble. Early on, they would be the welcoming recipients of a poor defensive performance by the Cincinnati Reds. Think of the bottom of the first, when Alejandro De Aza tagged up from first on a fly ball to right field and was able to advance to second. Not a play you see in the box score, but a heads up play to catch the outfielder on his heels nevertheless. That play was, of course, followed by a dropped Lucas Duda fly ball to left field that ended up scoring De Aza from second base. Neil Walker would also help to capitalize on the inning-extending error with a single that would bring Duda home, and just like that the Mets had taken a 2-1 lead.
The Reds would go on to commit two more errors (a poor throw to first base, one batter before a catcher’s interference call) but they would not hurt nearly as much the walks drawn by the Metropolitans. In fact, the Mets drew six walks—all coming before the end of the 6th inning—and two of them scored on a Michael Conforto double to the gap in left center. The ability to work the count also could be seen in the pitch count of Reds’ starter Jon Moscot, who was at 48 pitches through the first two innings. All-in-all, the Mets were able to be effective offensively by making the most of their given opportunities. Despite having five hits, one of which was a home run by Neil Walker and another was the Conforto double, the National League New Yorkers found a way to get on and scratch enough runs across to win.
WHAT HAPPENED, THE MATT HARVEY SAGA:
And the saga will continue, as this wasn’t an excellent outing for Matt Harvey, however it wasn’t entirely poor. After giving up a leadoff homerun to Zack Cozart and then a single to Ivan De Jesus Jr., Harvey would rattle off five straight strikeouts. That is impressive because, coming into today, Harvey’s K/9 was hovering around 5.5 strikeouts. Much of his evening was spent dancing with trouble, but he was still effective—striking out seven, giving up seven hits, walking one and accruing two earned runs. Some positives coming out of his start are that his fastball touched 98 mph according to Brooks Baseball and sat at 95.9 mph. Oh yeah, and he was still hitting the upper 90s even after he passed the 100 pitch mark. That Harvey is starting to return to his previous form velocity-wise is a good sign of things to come, and look for him to start striking out more batters than he previously has been.
WHAT HAPPENED, BRILLIANT BULLPEN:
The bullpen was outstanding in this one, as there wasn’t a runner that reached base across their three innings of work. Jim Henderson set the tone when he came in for Harvey in the 7th, striking out two on 19 pitches. Not to be outdone, Hansel Robles followed up with his own two-strikeout performance in the 8th, however he was able to do so on 18 pitches. After working three days in a row, Terry Collins decided to give Jeurys Familia a break and turned to Addison Reed. Reed closed the door, as he struck out one batter and got the job done on only 8 pitches.
WHAT HAPPENED, YESTERDAY:
The Mets let the Reds work themselves into trouble, and were able to come away with the victory despite a game that was sloppy early on. This was the sixth straight win, and second straight series victory—certainly something the Mets would like to keep going. Neil Walker homered for the ninth time this season, which ties him with Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story for the league lead. Not exactly the guy we all imagined to be in the midst of the home run race, but it’s early. Also, in my write up for Sunday’s game, I mentioned that I hadn’t seen a homerun hit in a game I’ve covered. So when Zack Cozart, the first batter of the game, sent one into the stands, well, I felt a little responsible. This is me officially apologizing to Matt Harvey for inciting a home run. I just hope he can forgive me.
WHAT HAPPENS, TODAY:
The Mets have today off and are getting set to open up a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants on Friday with Steven Matz facing off against Jake Peavy, as the Metropolitans look to keep their streak alive at Citi Field.
Photo credit: Anthony Gruppuso – USA Today Sports