Friday, August 10, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Braves 4, Mets 0
By Adam Rubin
WHAT IT MEANS: Matt Harvey surrendered a two-run homer to Jason Heyward in the first inning and walked five batters during his outing, but the rookie rallied to retire the final nine batters he faced in his first home start.
Harvey had no margin for error, though. Left-hander Paul Maholm, a trade-deadline acquisition from the Cubs, dominated the Mets as Atlanta won Friday’s series opener, 4-0, at Citi Field.
Maholm limited the Mets to three hits in his fourth career shutout. The southpaw faced the minimum number of batters through five innings. The lone two baserunners during that span -- Ruben Tejada after reaching on a first-inning error and Daniel Murphy after singling the following inning -- were erased with double plays.
It was the second complete-game shutout of the Mets this season. Toronto's Brandon Morrow also performed the feat May 19 at Rogers Centre.
Harvey, after three road starts, took the mound Friday night at Citi Field to Foreigner’s, “Feels Like the First Time.” As promised, he then began firing fastballs, after drifting to other offerings in his previous start in San Diego.
Eight of the nine pitches to leadoff batter Michael Bourn were fastballs. That plate appearance resulted in a walk. The No. 3 hitter Heyward followed with a two-run homer on a 94 mph fastball in the lower-middle portion of the strike zone -- his sweet spot -- during what became a 33-pitch first inning.
The five walks matched the most by Harvey in a professional game. He also walked five with Triple-A Buffalo against Toledo on June 3, although one base on balls in the game against the Tigers’ affiliate was intentional.
After Rob Johnson’s one-out double in the sixth, and with the Mets trailing 2-0 and Harvey’s pitch count at 101, Justin Turner pinch hit for the rookie. Maholm ultimately stranded Johnson at third base.
Harvey’s line: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 1 HR.
Harvey was hit in the right thigh with a line-drive comebacker off the bat of Freddie Freeman in the third inning, but remained in the game.
Dan Uggla added a two-run homer in the eighth against Josh Edgin.
OVER & OUT: Tejada’s hitting streak ended at a career-high 14 games when he was retired to end the game. Tejada went 0-for-4.
BAY WATCH: Jason Bay, returning to the lineup for the first time since his severe playing-time reduction with the Braves starting the southpaw Maholm, went 0-for-3 as his average dropped to .152. Bay did smoke a shot to the track in right-center that Bourn ran down.
WHAT’S NEXT: Johan Santana (6-7, 3.98 ERA) returns from the disabled list to oppose right-hander Kris Medlen (2-1, 2.37) on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. Santana likely will be capped at 90 pitches, Terry Collins said.