The Mets were in Cincinnati Thursday night trying to prevent yet another sweep, but starter Matt Harvey took the mound as he gave New York the spark they needed.
Harvey had not been great in his last three outings, but he was simply on tonight. He was perfect through the first four innings as newly acquired Mets catcher Kelly Shoppach was making the calls in his Mets debut. Harvey and Shoppach made a good combo early on as Reds batters were chasing at every pitch and they did not work the count.
Ike Davis provided Harvey with the first run of the game, hitting a lead-off home run off of starter Homer Bailey in the top of the fourth. It was Davis’ 21st home run of the year as the Mets led 1-0.
Harvey helped his own cause later in the inning by hitting a two out double to left center field. Jason Bay and Shoppach scored to make it 3-0. It was Harvey’s first career RBIs.
Harvey did get into a little bit of trouble in the bottom of the fifth. He put his first base runner on by hitting Ryan Ludwick with the pitch. He bounced back by striking out Jay Bruce and Todd Fraizer back-to-back, but then gave up his first hit of the game to Scott Rolen.
It was an infield hit that was just out of the reach of second baseman Justin Turner. Harvey didn’t let that bother him as he got catcher Devin Mesoraco to ground out to Tejada to end the inning.
The Mets lineup tact in more runs in the top of the sixth as Bailey was just not on his game. His night ended in the sixth when he allowed three more runs.
The three runs was a result of a Jason Bay home run, a RBI double by Tejada and a RBI single to Mike Baxter. Bailey pitched just 5.2 innings, giving up four earn runs on eight hits. He did manage to strikeout six, but the Mets could have cared less with a 6-0 lead.
Harvey, meanwhile, kept on going. He did allowed one run in the seventh when Jay Bruce hit a RBI double, but with a low pitch count manager Terry Collins allowed Harvey to keep on going into the eighth.
That’s where his night ended. He put two men on first and second with two outs as Collins gave him the hook. Bobby Parnell came in and struck out Brandon Phillips to end the inning.
Harvey lasted 7.2 innings on just 89 pitches. He allowed one earn run on just four hits and struck out eight Reds for his best start of the season and his career thus far.
New York added two more runs in the ninth, scoring two runs including Davis’ second RBI of the night as the Mets led 8-1. Collins put Frank Francisco in to finish the game, but the closer made things interesting yet again in a non-closing situation. Francisco allowed three runs as the Mets lead was cut in half, 8-4.
With men on second and third and two outs, Collins took out Francisco to put in Jon Rauch to get the save. It was déjà vu all over again as the same situation occurred on Sunday night when Francisco almost blew a non-save situation against Atlanta.
Rauch, just like Sunday, was able to secure the save as he struck out pinch hitter Wilson Valdez to end the game. The Mets won 8-4 as Harvey gained his second career win.
The Mets now head to D.C Friday night to start a three-game series with the Washington Nationals. Johan Santana takes the mound and tries to bounce back against Ross Detwiler.
Follow Angel Ortiz on Twitter: @aortiz527