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Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Nationals 0

5/1/2015

NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey is off to the best start by a New York Mets pitcher in nine years.

Harvey tossed seven scoreless innings and became the franchise’s first pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 2006 to win his first five starts of a season, and the Mets beat the Washington Nationals 4-0 on Friday at Citi Field.

The franchise record belongs to Frank Viola, now the organization’s Triple-A pitching coach, who won his first seven starts in 1990.

Jeurys Familia converted a five-out save after a three-day layoff. Familia had two of that length last season.

The Mets (16-8) snapped a three-game losing streak. They beat the Nats at Citi Field for only the second time in their past 17 meetings in Queens.

Familia entered in the eighth with the Mets leading by a run. Then left fielder Jayson Werth fell on Daniel Murphy's opposite-field line drive with the bases loaded in the bottom half, which brought in three runs.

In a rematch of 2013 All-Star Game starters, Harvey outdueled Max Scherzer. After Scherzer held the Mets hitless into the fourth, Michael Cuddyer produced a one-out homer for the game’s opening run.

Manager Terry Collins had allowed Harvey to pitch into the ninth and get to 107 pitches in his previous start against the Yankees, despite the Mets' entering the final frame with a six-run lead. This time, Collins was conservative with a one-run lead against the Nationals, sensing Harvey was running out of gas.

Harvey was pulled after seven innings with his pitch count at 93, despite being expected to get two extra days of rest before starting next Friday in Philadelphia. He allowed five hits and one walk and struck out three against Washington (10-14). Harvey has struck out 34 and walked four this season.

Cuddyer’s shot was the second by a Met this season that took advantage of friendlier right-center dimensions at Citi Field. Daniel Murphy benefited on April 14.

Ouch: Dilson Herrera's first major league plate appearance this season was painful. Herrera was struck on the right forearm by a 93 mph fastball from Scherzer in the third inning. Herrera finished 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his season debut.

Flo chart: Wilmer Flores committed an error for the third straight game, which upped his error total to seven this season. Flores threw wide to first baseman Lucas Duda for a fifth-inning E-6.

Flores has five throwing and two fielding errors this season. The fielding errors came Wednesday and Thursday.

Reel deals: Both center fielders delivered highlight-reel plays. Michael Taylor, subbing for injured Denard Span, retreated and snared a deep shot by Kevin Plawecki to center in the third inning. Immediately preceding Flores’ fifth-inning error, Juan Lagares dived forward to take away a hit on a sinking line drive off the bat of Ian Desmond. Even Harvey applauded Lagares from the mound.

No contest: Harvey versus Bryce Harper has been a one-sided affair in their standout careers. Harper went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and walk against Harvey on Friday.

Harper is now 0-for-12 with six strikeouts in his career against the Dark Knight. When Harper did reach the base on balls in the sixth, he was erased while trying to steal second base after a replay review reversed the on-field call.

What’s next: Jonathon Niese (2-1, 2.74 ERA) starts opposite left-hander Gio Gonzalez (1-2, 5.01) in Saturday’s 7:10 p.m. ET game. Collins plans to start Ruben Tejada over Flores at shortstop, though the manager said that was planned before the series.