video thumbnail

SD@NYM: Harvey fans 10 over seven shutout frames

Matt Harvey may have set the bar too high.

In one of the most impressive starts in recent franchise memory, the 24-year-old held the Padres to just one hit over seven innings, striking out 10 batters and walking one.

Harvey might get a tougher test as he moves from spacious Citi Field to the smaller Citizens Bank Park for a 7:05 p.m. ET game on Monday.

With double-digit strikeouts in three of his first 11 starts with the Mets, Harvey became just the fourth player in franchise history to do so, joining an elite club of Dwight Gooden, Nolan Ryan and Jerry Koosman.

"This guy is one of the hardest-working guys I've ever seen," first baseman Ike Davis said after Harvey's start this year. "He's exactly what you want a young guy in the future of your organization to be like."

Harvey enjoyed success against the Phillies in two starts last season, combining for 13 1/3 innings and  allowing just three earned runs, while striking out 13 batters.

While the Mets look to their future on Monday, the Phillies are hoping their starting pitcher can rediscover the glory of his past.

Roy Halladay was knocked around for five earned runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Braves his first time out this season. He allowed six hits, including two home runs, while walking two and striking out nine.

Halladay threw just 17.9 percent fastballs, according to fangraphs.com. If he continues at that rate, it will mark the fourth straight year Halladay has declined in fastball percentage, going from 37.4 percent in 2010 to 22.6 percent in '11 to 19.4 percent last season. His average fastball velocity has also been on the decline in four straight years, from 92.6 mph in 2010 to 89.6 mph during his first start this season.

The 35-year-old dealt with shoulder problems in 2012, when he posted his worst ERA (4.49) since 2000.

Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee offered this enlightening explanation: "It's still a phase where he's trying to find out what he's going to have and what he's going to be able to do. You talk about he got nine out of 10 outs [in his first start] with strikeouts. They got six hits -- two of them were home runs, the other four weren't hit very good at all.

"That's all encouraging to me. He's still got swing-and-miss stuff and he's got to find a way and we have to find a way to be a little more aggressive and get quicker outs."

Mets: Outfield by committee is working
The Mets starting outfield of Collin Cowgill, Lucas Duda and Mike Baxter combined to go 0-for-10 on Sunday, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Marlon Byrd delivered clutch hits off the bench in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Mets to a 4-3 walk-off win.

Manager Terry Collins has been shuffling his outfield around frequently and it has paid off.

"In a perfect world, you'd like to have your three guys out there," said Collins. "But right now, we're going to mix and match. It keeps everybody sharp. It keeps everybody ready."

Phillies: Young breaks out
Michael Young just needed a few days. Beginning the season with a .188 average (3-for-16), Young went 4-for-5 Sunday to raise his average to .333. It was his first four-hit game since July 8 of last year. It was also his first multiple-hit game as a member of the Phillies.

The former Ranger has been batting fifth, sandwiched between Ryan Howard and Dominic Brown. Howard is batting just .167 (4-for-24) in the early going, though a hot-hitting Young behind him could allow him to see some better pitches.

Worth noting

• Ben Revere, acquired in the offseason from the Twins, had three hits Sunday and stole his third base of the season.

• The Phillies were a hit away from getting their second straight walk-off win. They scored four runs, including three off a Jimmy Rollins homer, in the bottom of the ninth before losing, 9-8. They had 11 walk-offs last season, their most since 1991 when they had 13.

• Collins expects it will be at least a couple of weeks before Shaun Marcum makes his Mets debut. Marcum, who is receiving injections in his neck this week to reduce inflammation, has yet to throw a bullpen session.

MLB.com Comments