Live! Blog: Matt Harvey start

I haven’t done one of these in a while — I’ll be watching tonight’s game FROM MY COUCH. Why don’t you join me? Well not on my couch. But on the internet. I’ll be live blogging — live web logging? liwoggin? libogging?– tonight’s Mets-Phillies game starting at 7:05ish. And we’re live!

Pregame: Lineups –

New York Mets
Ruben Tejada SS
Daniel Murphy 2B
David Wright 3B
Ike Davis 1B
Lucas Duda LF
Scott Hairston CF
Mike Baxter RF
Kelly Shoppach C
Matt Harvey RHP

Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins SS
Juan Pierre LF
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
John Mayberry CF
Laynce Nix RF
Kevin Frandsen 3B
Erik Kratz C
Tyler Cloyd RHP

Right-handed pitcher on the mound for the Phillies, but Terry Collins is running with right-handed hitters Kelly Shoppach and Scott Hairston against Tyler Cloyd, who is making his Major League debut. Cloyd put up a 2.35 ERA in 22 starts with Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season.

Top of the first: Five pitches, Tejada retired, Murphy single, Wright retired. Davis sees six cutters and singles (Cloyd throws a lot of cutters, it seems) before Duda pops out on a first pitch fastball. Cloyd faces five batters but only throws 13 pitches in the top of the first. Mets baseball!

Bottom of the first: Harvey throws gas. Gets Rollins with a series of mid-90s fastballs and a curveball in the dirt.

And then deadball hitter Juan Pierre hits a first-pitch fastball OFF THE WALL but is held to a single because he trips running out of the box. Phillies baseball! One on, one out.

Chase Utley drops a ball into the left-center gap. Duda and Hairston do not cover much ground between the two. Runners on the corners, one out for Ryan Howard. Harvey gets ahead 1-2 on fastballs and curve, and then almost makes a mistake with a fat changeup Howard fouls off. Howard pops the next-pitch into left for a sac fly. 1-0 Phillies.

Harvey gets John Mayberry out in front on a slider for a fly out to center to end the inning. Matt Harvey looks like someone famous with his new beard, but I can’t place it. Phillies 1, Mets 0

Top of the second: Tyler Cloyd is going cutter-heavy against the Mets, especially their right-hand hitters. Rick Peterson would be so mad, you guys! Hairston crushes a double to the left-center gap, then Cloyd drills Mike Baxter with a cutter. Two on, no out for Kelly Shoppach and the world’s best hitter Matt Harvey.

Shoppach goes down swinging on a cutter — Cloyd only throws cutters on the outer half of the plate, but some of them have a little drop, like a slider. He doesn’t have great strikeout numbers in Triple-A, but he’s been good at preventing walks and hits. Maybe some luck, or maybe the cutter at work.

And the world’s best hitter Matt Harvey grounds a ball through the hole for an RBI single. Game tied at 1-1, with two on and one out for the Mets and the top of the lineup at the plate.

Tejada also goes down on a cutter/slider. It looks like Cloyd throws a sharper, breaking-ball like cutter with two strikes. First and second, two outs for Murphy.

Murphy tomahawks a — guess what. Guess the pitch. (Hint: Cutter.) Did you say cutter? It was a cutter. Murphy tomhawks a cutter into right field to end the inning. We’re tied at 1-up.

Bottom of the second: Harvey gets Laynce Nix with a 99 MPH fastball, according to the SNY gun. 99! Are Laynce Nix and Jayson Nix brothers? I’m going to Google that. (Update: THEY ARE!!!! Here’s a new game: Make your own Nix brother name by adding a Y behind any A’s in your name! Mine is Paytrick . . . oh that’s not good. Those two words don’t go well together.)

Kevin Frandsen singles, Erik Kratz flies out to center, and then with two outs Harvey walks the opposing pitcher Cloyd on four pitches.

Jimmy Rollins (of course) doubles down the first base line. Frandsen scores from first, Cloyd moves to third. 2-1 Phillies. Dan Warthen comes to the mound to do whatever it is Dan Warthen does. Juan Pierra lines a 99 MPH fastball the other way, but it’s right in Duda’s path. Inning over, 2-1 Phillies after two.

Top of the third: Wright sees two cutters, grounds out to shortstop. Davis sees six cutters, lines a single into left field. Duda sees two cutters, and gets his hands through on the second and crushes a home run to right field. 3-2 Mets. Hairston sees three cutters, a changeup, and then a bunch of pitches pitch f/x identifies as changeups but still looked like cutters for am eight-pitch walk. 13 cutters to begin the inning for Cloyd. Baxter walks on a bunch of cutters, Shoppach strikes out looking on another cutter, and the Cloyd strikes out Harvey with breaking balls. Cloyd basically threw only cutters to the Mets’ hitters, and then threw breaking balls to strike out the opposing pitcher.

By the way, the Phillies are 24-21 (.533 baseball) since Ryan Howard returned July 6.

Bottom of the third: And Harvey drills Utley with a first pitch fastball to start to bottom of the third. Looked accidental, and Utley gets drilled by a bunch of pitches because he leans over the plate.

Harvey strikes out Howard with a sinking changeup — Harvey’s looked much better with his changeup the second time through the order, though he didn’t throw many the first time through. Is that a Dan Warthen thing? I think that’s a Dan Warthen thing.

And John Mayberry grounds into an inning-ending double play. 3-2 Mets through three.

Top of the fourth: Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez used the words “automaton” and “robotic” to describe Daniel Murphy’s defense at second earlier in the season, while praising Murphy’s improvements. Mets go in order on a bunch of cutters. Still 3-2 Mets.

Bottom of the fourth: Harvey still bringing the heat, with 97 and 98 MPH fastballs to Nix. According to Fangraphs, Harvey’s averaging 94.5 MPH with his fastball. He strikes out Nix in a 1-2-3 fourth. 3-2 Mets after four.

Top of the fifth: Both pitchers . . . Keith Hernandez just referred to “Lady Gaga and her little monsters,” and was met by a solid 10 second of silence. The Mets went in order or something. Lady Gaga.

Bottom of the fifth: Harvey walks his opposite, Tyler Cloyd, again, this time on five pitches to open the bottom of the fifth. Harvey then strikes out Jimmy Rollins with four fastballs, each one over 96 MPH.

Juan Pierre singles to make it first and second with one out. Big outs here for Harvey with Utley and Howard coming up.

After four pitches in the zone, three of which Utley fouls off, Harvey comes up and in with a fastball for a ball. He missed with a slider, leaving on the inside part of the plate, and then couldn’t get Utley to chase a changeup out of the zone. Harvey throws the same pitch on the outside part of the plate, and Utley lifts it into right for an out. Two outs, two on, Howard up.

Harvey goes fastball away, fastball away, fastball away for ball one, before a curveball inside that freezes Howard but misses for ball two. Harvey misses away with another fastball for ball three, and Howard drives the next a fastball the other way. Lucas Duda takes a terrible route, but leaps like a Buffalo to make the catch and end the threat. 3-2 Mets after five.

Top of the sixth: Baxter flies out. Kelly Shoppach, who looks like a plumber, lines a ball into left field for a single and . . . WHY WOULD YOU MAKE MATT HARVEY BUNT! Harvey gets down the sacrifice. Shoppach at second — because he will of course score from second on a single — two out for the top of the lineup.

Tejada does not look comfortable at cutter-fest. He strikes out. Mets still up 3-2, going into the bottom of the sixth.

Bottom of the sixth: Harvey at 81 pitches starting the sixth. He got Mayberry to pop out on a slider, then threw a 91 MPH slider to Nix . . . but Nix doubles off the wall on a curveball. Harvey’s fastball has been impressive tonight, but his other pitches haven’t been as sharp.

Hey, Kelly Shoppach drops a popup. Maybe Davis’ ball, but no one makes the play. Frandsen grounds out for the second out. Tying run on third with Kratz up as perhaps Harvey’s final batter.

Harvey throws three fastballs to Kratz, and paints the outside corner with a 99 MPH fastball to end the inning. How’d he give up any runs in Triple-A? Harvey’s at 97 pitches, but not due up the next inning. Maybe gets another batter or two to start the seventh.

Top of the seventh: Jeremy Horst comes into the game for the Phillies. I have no idea who any of their relievers are anymore. Horst strikes out Murphy, who apparently doesn’t know who any of them are either. Horst gets Wright and Davis on three more pitches. Six pitches, the Mets are done in the seventh and I still have no idea who Jeremy Horst is. Well that’s not true. He’s a Phillies reliever . . .

Bottom of the seventh: Harvey comes back out to begin the seventh. Placido Polanco, who is still on the Phillies and I totally hadn’t forgotten that until just now, lines out to center to leadoff the inning as a pinch-hitter. And Harvey is done. One pitch in the seventh and that’s all for the right-hander. Josh Edgin, Terry Collins’ next lefty victim, comes into the game to face the top of the Phillies order.

Edgin throws six pitches, gets Rollins and Frenchman Juan Pierre. Edgin does his job again. The Mets have him scheduled for shoulder surgery in September 2013.

Top of the eighth: Antonio Bastardo, a Phillies reliever I do know, enters to a Lucas Duda single, and promptly exits. Phillippe Aumont, Quebecois, comes in to face Hairston.

Terry Collins is really into sending runners. Hairston strikes out, but Lucas Duda steals second base. Duda. Steals. Second base. That’s Duda’s second career stolen base.

Aumont has a good breaking ball and can really crank his fastball. Why isn’t he better. . . *looks on baseball-reference* . . . oh walks. He walks too many guys. He’s got 34 walks in 44.1 innings in the minor leagues this season. Aumont walks Shoppach on cue.

Justin Turner pinch-hitting against a righty! Turner’s got a reverse platoon split and hits better against right-handed pitchers. Terry Collins doesn’t seem to know this, but hey, he’s getting it right here. Annnd Turner grounds out to third. 3-2 Mets heading to the bottom. Six outs for the Mets’ pen.

Bottom of the eighth: Rob Carson into the game to face Utley and Howard. How many LOOGYs have the Mets used against those two over the years?

Carson gets the job done — he gets Utley to fly out to left, Howard to fly out to right. Duda looks better in left field, though I don’t know if that’s only by comparison to other left fielders who are also terrible fielders.

Jon Rauch comes into the game! Rawr ragh ragggghhhhh rawr! He gets Mayberry to ground out to end the inning. The Mets bullpen, suddenly looking like an effective * sees Frank Francisco warming up. Stops typing, hangs head. *

Top of the ninth: Josh Lindbloom in for the Phillies. Gets Tejada and Murphy to pop out quickly. Not a great night for the top of the Mets order — they’re still struggling to score as a team outside of last night, but the Mets pitching has been good enough lately to get us to forget about the offense. Wright strikes out. Here comes Frank Frank. 3-2 Mets, heading to the bottom of the ninth.

Bottom of the ninth: Mets bring in Francisco, who gets Nix with a 95 MPH fastball for the first out. Francisco just threw it by him. Why has he been bad this season?

Francisco gets Frandsen to ground out to Murphy. Eric Kratz represents the Phillies’ last hope, which probably says everything you need to know about this Phillies season.

And Kratz strikes out. 1-2-3 ninth for Francisco, Harvey gets the win, Duda was involved in all the important plays. Game balls to Harvey and Duda, wag of shame for Tejada, Murphy and Wright. I don’t know what a wag of shame is. We’re done here. Love the Mets.

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3 Comments

Filed under Columns, Mets, Words

3 responses to “Live! Blog: Matt Harvey start

  1. can’t watch the game and this was way better then standard recap. thanks much sir.

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