Matt Harvey allowed three-runs on Wednesday evening, but the New York Mets were able to overcome the deficit en route to their tenth victory of the season. David Wright kept Harvey unbeaten with a two-out game tying single in the ninth and Jordany Valdespin capped off the rally with a walk-off grand-slam in the tenth.
It was the Mets second walk-off win of the season and their first walk-off grand slam since Kevin McReynolds hit one on June 25, 1991. NY improved to 1-1 in extra inning affairs this season, while recording their third come-from-behind victory of the year in the process.
REAL DEAL HARVEY: Matt Harvey’s ERA sky rocketed to 1.54 after allowing three earned runs on four hits and one walk while striking out seven over six innings of work. The three runs matched his total from his first four starts of the year and his four hits allowed matched a season high. It also snapped a streak of six consecutive starts in which the right-hander allowed one run or less and it was the first time this season the ‘Real Deal’ did not last seven innings.
While most starters would sign up for that performance any day of the week and twice on Sunday, for Harvey, it was not good enough.
“You guys know me,” Harvey told reporters after the game. “In my mind I sucked and I have to be better.”
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
For the first time this season, Harvey allowed a first-inning run. After back-to-back one-out singles by Mark Ellis and Adrian Gonzalez, Ellis scored the games first run on a fielder’s choice ground out by Matt Kemp. The right-hander struck out Andre Ethier to end the frame and proceeded to retire 14 of the next 15 batters he faced before a one-out walk to Gonzo in the sixth. Harvey, who threw first pitch strikes to 19 of the 23 batters he faced, fell behind 2-0 to the next batter, Matt Kemp. The next pitch caught to much of the inside part of the plate, and the Dodgers center fielded hit a wall-scrapping two-run homer to give L.A. a 3-1 lead. The Kemp homer was originally ruled a triple, but after a two minute and twenty nine second review, the call was ruled a home run. Harvey retired Ethier to end the frame before his night was ended for a pinch hitter in the bottom half of the frame.
While I believe the young right-hander is the type of competitor that will lose a night of sleep over the Kemp long ball, you can tell from his post game interview with reporters the games end result superseded his performance.
“Any time something like that happens it’s pretty electric,” Harvey said of the walk-off grandslam. “Bob Geren said [to Valdespin in the dugout] ‘they are gonna walk him here and your gonna go out there and win it.’ And he did. That was pretty awesome.”
Besides being insanely nasty at baseball, Harvey has a great attitude as well. You can tell he cares about winning and does not come across — at all — as one of those guys who puts personal accolades over the team.
WHO NEEDS A DH: With NY trailing 1-0 in the fifth, Harvey drilled a double left before scoring the Mets first run of the game on a Ruben Tejada single. The double was the third of his career and the first extra-base hit by a Mets starter this season. He ended the game 1-for-2 lifting his career average to .286 (8-for-28) in the process.
NINTH INNING RALLY: Trailing by one, pinch-hitter Mike Baxter got the frame started with a blooper to left. Baxter took advantage of a Carl Crawford bobble and stretched the should-be single into a lead-off double. He was advanced to third on a Ruben Tejada sacrifice bunt and scored the game tying run on a two-out single by David Wright. Prior to the Wright single, it seemed as if Dodgers closer Brandon League would escape the jam unscathed after L.A. third baseman Jerry Hairston made a spectacular play on a foul pop up off the bat of Daniel Murphy. Hairston held on to the pop fly while crashing into the dugout fence; a sure-to-be ESPN top ten play of the night. Wright, however, handed League his first blown save of the season after drilling the first pitch of the at-bat into center field.
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IM DA MAN RIGHT NOW: Jordany Valdespin entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, and failed to plate the tying run from third, hitting a weak grounder to first. Two innings later, Valdespin did not waste an opportunity to win it for NY. John Buck singled to left and Ike Davis worked a four-pitch walk before the two advanced to second and third on a Marlon Byrd sacrifice bunt. Lucas Duda improved his on base percentage to .471, when he was intentionally walked to load the bases before Valdespin ended it with a grand-slam.
“That was the most mature at-bat I’ve seen from that young man,” Bobby Ojeda said of Valdespin on SNY post game. “That’s the talent he has.”
Knowing that Josh Wall was struggling to find the plate, Valdespin took an outside fast ball for strike out. He then laid off an inside slider and a fastball to work the count into his favor. Looking for a pitch to drive, Jordany turn on a fastball out over the plate, hitting a no-doubter into the right field seats.
RUBBER GAME: Jeremy Hefner will take the mound to oppose Hyun-Jin Ryu as the Mets look to take the series tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 p.m. at Citi Field.