Matt Harvey pitch in a game live all season. Outside of his second start, against Philadelphia, which I was at, I've either been at work, or been out, or been out at work each time Matt Harvey has been on the mound.
Wednesday, however, I was home to see the man ply his trade, replete with smoke coming out of his ears, either because he was tired of toiling away while his lousy teammates couldn't get him a run, or because Noah Syndergaard stole his thunder by making his debut last night, or because Anthony Rizzo had the audacity to punk him out on a bunt attempt (and after the shit-eating grin Rizzo had on his face after that play, don't be too surprised if Harvey sticks one in his armpit at some point down the road) or because he gave up a hit, but whatever it was, Harvey pitched a typical Matt Harvey game, 7 innings, 3 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts and a no decision. The no decision is typical for Harvey, as it was in 2013, because he will invariably have games like this, where he dominates, and the Mets score 1 or 2 runs for him, and then the bullpen blows the lead and the Mets lose the game. And dammit, it happened again on Wednesday. Harvey left with a 1-0 lead, Carlos Torres blew the lead in the 8th and then in the 9th I guess he thought it would be nice to take a huge dump on the mound and then leave it behind in the hopes that Jeurys Familia could clean it up. Unfortunately, this situation was untenable for Familia and he ended up walking home the winning run and the Mets lost another just sterling affair in Chicago, 2-1.
By any right, Harvey should have won the game, but then again, we've said that before and if he won every game he should have won to this point in his career, his record would probably be something ungodly like 33-8. Baseball is a little too random for things to work quite like that I know, but that being said, on this night he should have won the game. He slammed ESPN's Fish Sandwich down the toilet by striking out Kris Bryant twice and really putting him in his place, he dropped some hammers on Ratso Rizzo when he was expecting something else, and the rest of the Cubs hitters just sort of stood there and hoped for the best. But the Mets punchless lineup that's totally useless right now did nothing against the luminary that is Jason Hammel except for a run scoring ground out by Michael Cuddyer in the 6th inning. When that's the sum total of your team's offense, you've got problems.
Nonetheless, Harvey got through his 7 innings and his 100 pitches as he does, and I suppose if there was anything he did wrong, it was that he wasn't economical enough to finish the job himself. I know I've said that before, but don't ask me to link back, just take my word for it. Carlos Torres came in in the 8th and everything pretty much went downhill from there. He'd already caused enough trouble in the 8th by blowing the lead, but for whatever reason Terry Collins saw it fit to send him back out there for the 9th, in spite of having a full spate of relievers at his disposal, and if the mission in the 9th inning was to put the game on a silver platter and serve it to the Cubs, well, Torres did a sterling job of that. He gave up hits to Rizzo (who was then run for by the immensely popular Matt Szczur) and Castro and then an intentional walk. Then, and only then, Collins figured out that Torres did not have it and replaced him with Jeurys Familia, but come on. What the hell was Familia supposed to do with this mess? Admirably, he got Jorge Soler to chase some pitches out of the zone but then he walked Coghlan. You could see that coming.
So, now, if the bloom wasn't off the Mets rose before, it most certainly is now. The good vibes of the hot start are gone and now the team is a bad weekend away from unraveling into 2013 once again. There's a lot of injuries that are causing problems right now, but there's also too much Daniel Murphy and too much Kirk Nieuwenhuis flying around going 0-for-4 too. Things were supposed to be better than this. At least the Rangers won.