Originally written on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 4/20/13
In the much anticipated match-up between two of the games best young arms, New York Mets star, Matt Harvey out-dueled Washington Nationals ace, Steven Strasburg. “I’m just impressed with their mound presence,” Dwight Gooden told MLB tonight’s crew of Harvey and Strasburg.  ”Tonight being there first hand to watch these guys, Matt Harvey is the real deal.  These guys are legit.” Harvey tossed six scoreless frames before allowing a run on two hits in the seventh, while Strasburg allowed four runs on five hits, including solo bombs to Lucas Duda and Ike Davis in the sixth.  After which, the Citi Field faithful let him know the deal: #bbpBox_325413287518957570 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_325413287518957570 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Fans chanting, “Har-vey’s better, Har-vey’s better.” about 4 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin On Friday night, Harvey was better. In fact, he has been better than most through his first four starts. The 24-year-old right-hander ranks top five in MLB in ERA (0.93), wins (4), strikeouts (32), WHIP (0.66), and opponents batting average against (.108). Eighteen pitchers have allowed more hits in a single game than Harvey has allowed over his first four starts (10). Friday night marked his fourth straight start of 7 or more innings allowing one run or less as he became the first Mets pitcher to win his first four starts of the season since Mike Pelfrey did it in 2010.  As Adam Rubin of ESPN New York points out, Pelfrey achieved the feat in five appearances: #bbpBox_325440578571616256 a { text-decoration:none; color:#0084B4; }#bbpBox_325440578571616256 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } Pelfrey, you may recall, took 5 appearances for his 4-0 start because he got the save in that 20-inning game in St. Louis. about 3 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin Frank Viola holds the franchise record, going 7-0 in seven starts to open the 1990 season. The “Real Deal” as Dwight Gooden likes to call him, fanned seven Nationals on Friday night, lifting his career total to 102 in 14 career games. The only other Mets with more strikeouts in their first 14 career games were Dwight Gooden (107) and Nolan Ryan (103).     THE THINGS THAT ACES DO: After tossing six scoreless frames, Harvey’s most impressive inning of work came in the top half of the seventh inning. Adam LaRoche worked a six-pitch walk to start the frame before back-to-back singles by Ian Desmond and Chad Tracy plated the Nats first baseman, 4-1.  Steve Lombardozzi grounded into a should be 4-6-3 double play, but an errant toss by Daniel Murphy loaded the bases full of Nationals with no-outs. Approaching 100 pitches, Harvey struck out Kurt Suzuki on a filthy slider, induced pinch-hitter Roger Bernadina to popout to Mets catcher, John Buck and forced Denard Span to ground out to end the frame and the Washington threat.  Harvey gave a fist pump of excitement as the 26,675 in attendance rose to their feet. As Mets radio talent Josh Lewin said, “When the going got tough, Matt Harvey got it done.” “That was a big challenge — bases loaded with no outs,” Harvey told reporters following the game. “That’s a tough lineup. At any point it felt like it could unravel and things could have gone the other way. I think I learned from tonight’s start. I came out the first inning a little bit too pumped up. As the start went on I could feel my body starting to get a little tired. That was really my first big Friday night, I guess you could say.” IKE IKE BABY: Ike Davis hit two home runs tonight, his sixth career multi-home run game and first since September 24 of last season vs. Pittsburgh. With his two-hit performance, Davis lifted his average to .173 and now has four hits in his last nine at-bats. “Strasburg obviously made me look foolish the first two at-bats,” Davis told reporters following the game. “I didn’t want to miss the fastball over the plate.”  DUDA DUDA DAY:  Duda hit two home runs tonight, his fourth career multi-home run game and second this season. He also hit two on April 10 at Philadelphia. Duda finished the game 2-for-3, lifting his season average to .308 in the process. KEEP IT GOING: Jeremy Hefner will oppose Gio Gonzalez tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. at Citi Field as the Mets look to take the series from the Nats.
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