If the Mets hope to contend now and in the future, they will need their young starting pitchers to live up to the hype. Matt Harvey is certainly doing his part, first with a solid rookie half-season last year, and now with a brilliant one-hit performance Wednesday night against the Padres to kick off his first full season.
The Mets got on the board in the second. Marlon Byrd singled and then Lucas Duda launched a pitch into the upper deck in right field to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. It was the first of three Met home runs on the night.
In the fourth Duda doubled and John Buck hit his first homer as a Met, a line shot that cleared the wall in right — 4-0 Mets.
In the fifth inning with Daniel Murphy on first, David Wright doubled down the line to plate Murphy to make it 5-0. Ike Davis followed with a massive home run that nearly reached the Shea Bridge to extend the lead to 7-0. Byrd walked, and Padres starter Clayton Richard was mercifully taken out of the game. Andrew Cashner came in and walked Duda and gave up a single to Buck to score Byrd to make it 8-0.
Harvey was simply dominant; he started out perfect through the first three innings, striking out five of the first nine batters he faced. He ended up throwing seven scoreless innings, allowing just the one hit while striking out 10 and walking two.
Siderarmer Greg Burke made his Mets debut in the eighth. He allowed a run to break up the shut out. But more importantly, I nominate him for the strangest pitching motion in Mets history. I can’t really accurately describe how awkward it looks as he steps towards the first base line as he releases the ball in a somewhat herky-jerky fashion.
LaTroy Hawkins came in for the ninth and allowed three runs in his Mets debut. Only one run was earned because of a Ruben Tejada error with two outs, but Hawkins looked shaky throughout. Bobby Parnell had to come on for the final out.
After taking the opener 11-2, the Mets win again, 8-4 this time. Offense, starting pitching; what else could you ask for in the first two games of the season?