If there is one rule of thumb for the Mets this season, it is this — leave Matt Harvey on the mound for as long as possible. Terry Collins went against this rule against the Padres Sunday and it was a good move in the short run. But of course, that left the game in the hands of the Mets bullpen and the Mets eventually went down in San Diego.
The Mets got a quick run in the first when Justin Turner tripled and Marlon Byrd doubled to drive him home.
They made it 2-0 in the fourth — Byrd and Josh Satin singled to put runners on first and third. Wilmer Flores hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Byrd.
Harvey was rolling until the fifth, when he hit leadoff batter Logan Forsythe. Nick Hundley hit a bloop to right that was just out of the reach of Turner. Eric Stults sacrificed to put runners on second and third with one out. Will Venable hit a chopper that bounced over Harvey’s head to score Forsythe to make it a 2-1 game and advance Hundley to third. Alexi Amarista then hit a drive to right-center that Juan Larages was able to track down, but Hundley tagged up to tie the game at two.
With two outs in the seventh, Omar Quintanilla doubled. That left Collins with a decision to make — leave Matt Harvey in the game after throwing just 86 pitches, or pinch hit for him and try to break the tie. Perhaps with an eye towards limiting Harvey’s innings, Collins chose to pinch hit. And it worked — Andrew Brown doubled off the wall in center to bring home Quintanilla and make it a 3-2 game.
So Harvey went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out six batters and did not walk anyone and left with the lead.
However, that didn’t last for long. Gonzalez German was on the mound for the eighth. He walked Yonder Alonso to lead off the inning. With one out Chase Headley doubled to move Alonso to third. Chris Denorfria hit a slow roller to short; Omar Quintanilla did not have a play anywhere as the tying run scored to give Matt Harvey yet another no decision. Pedro Feliciano came on and got Mark Kotsay on a grounder to third. With two outs and runners on second and third Nick Hundley was intentionally walked to load the bases. Jeff Decker flew out to end the inning.
Feliciano stayed in the game for the ninth and Will Venable led off the inning with a solo home run to win the game for the Padres 4-3.
After winning the first two games of the series, the Mets have to settle for a disappointing split in San Diego.