It looked for sure like Matt Harvey would suffer his first loss of 2013, but the Mets bats (!) came back to tie the game to give Harvey a no decision. However the Mets would eventually lose the game to the Reds in a matinee at Citi Field.
The Mets quickly took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on back-to-back doubles by their first and second hitters, Daniel Murphy and Rick Ankiel. Ankiel advanced to third on a David Wright ground out. But of course Lucas Duda struck out on three pitches, and Marlon Byrd was robbed of an RBI hit on a great catch by Xavier Paul in left field.
With a man on in the third, Joey Votto launched a Harvey offering into the seats in left field to give the Reds a 2-1 lead.
With two outs in the fifth Harvey allowed a double, an intentional walk and a regular walk to load the bases. He was able to escape the jam by inducing Jay Bruce to ground out to second to keep it a 2-1 game.
The Mets tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Ruben Tejada led off with a double and moved to third on a Harvey sacrfice. Murphy hit a relatively shallow ball to right. Tejada tagged up, testing the strong arm of Bruce. The throw was up the line and Tejada was safe.
In what has to be considered at least a mild surprise in today’s game, Matt Harvey was sent out for the seventh inning after throwing exactly 100 pitches. He got the first out but then allowed two straight singles to put runners on first and second. Brandon Phillips then singled down the third base line to give the Reds a 3-2 lead, and that was all for Harvey. On that play, Phillips was caught up between first and second but Murphy didn’t see it and Phillips was able to scamper back to first. It turned out to be significant because when Scott Rice came on with runners on first and third and got Bruce to hit a slow roller to first, it would have been the third out. Instead, it was only the second out and the runner at third scored to make it 4-2.
So Matt Harvey ended up throwing 116 pitches over 6.1 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits, with six strikeouts and three walks and left as the potential losing pitcher.
But the Mets took care of that in the bottom of the seventh. With Tejada on second and two outs, Murphy came through with a single to cut the lead to 4-3. Murphy had three hits on the game. Ankiel then tripled off the left field wall to score Murphy to tie the game at four and take Harvey off the hook. Ankiel also had three hits (two doubles and a triple) and two RBIs.
The Mets had runners on first and second in the eighth with one out, but John Buck bounced into a double play to end the threat and keep the game tied.
Shin-Soo Choo led off the ninth against Bobby Parnell with a double. He was sacrificed to third. Votto was intentionally walked to face Phillips. That didn’t work because Phillips hit a check-swing bouncer down the first base line that Davis let go by him, apparently thinking it was foul. Instead it was fair and Choo scored to make it a 5-4 game. With runners on second and third Bruce was intentionally walked to load the bases. That didn’t work either as Todd Frazier blooped a broken bat single to center to score two more runs to make it 7-4.
With Murphy on first and two outs in the ninth, Terry Collins pinch hit Juan Lagares for Ankiel because the lefty Aroldis Chapman was on the mound. Odd move since Ankiel was having a great game, but apparently the lefty-righty nonsense is more important to Collins. Lagares struck out to end the game.
Mets lose 7-4 and are swept by the Reds. Matt Harvey’s record remains at 5-0 record with five no decisions and a 1.93 ERA.