Harvey and deGrom Bright Spots in Losses to Sox
The Mets will need to rely on their aces to get deep into October. (slgckgc : Flickr)
The Mets have dropped two in a row to the Boston Red Sox after coming into the series with a seven game winning streak. But they did get something in these two games that they didn’t get during that stretch: solid outings from their two most important pitchers.
Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom combined for less than three innings during that win streak against the hapless Rockies and Phillies. But both guys have pretty legitimate excuses. Harvey was originally scheduled the start the series finale in Colorado, but the Mets decided to skip his start as a way to limit his workload down the stretch in his first year back from Tommy John surgery. As for deGrom he couldn’t make it out of the third inning in Philadelphia on Monday night. It was his worst career start, giving up seven runs, six earned, while walking three in 2.2 IP. The Mets would rebound and score 14 unanswered to blow out the Phils 16-7 as it at the time just seemed like perfect timing for deGrom to have an off night.
Well on Wednesday it was reported that there was a good reason for deGrom’s off night. Turns out he had food poisoning on Monday and was battling through illness while on the mound, something Terry Collins was unaware of until the game had already started. deGrom then received IV treatment on Tuesday before feeling better on Wednesday. While it was comforting to be able to pin Harvey’s absence in Colorado and deGrom’s struggles in Philadelphia on circumstances outside their control, how they bounced back was a major point of interest heading into the weekend.
Harvey has been vocal about his displeasure towards extra rest and Friday night’s outing was his first in 12 days. The threat however of any possible letdown due to the extra rest was dispelled after 6 dominant shutout innings.
“I definitely felt refreshed,” said Harvey after the loss. “It’s one of those things where you have a lot of time off and you feel really good [but] finding a rhythm can be tough. I wasn’t as fine as I want to be but I felt like when I needed to make a pitch I was able to do that.”
Harvey allowed just two hits but had to leave after six innings having thrown 103 pitches. His manager Terry Collins acknowledged that Harvey possibly could have pitched longer but that under the circumstances it was time to pull him.
“[Harvey] wanted to pitch another inning and I just said ‘I can’t do it, this is why we gave you the time off,’” said Collins on Friday. “’We aren’t here to tax you, we’re here to make sure you can get through the month and into the postseason.’”
Collins got to see his other ace have a bounce back performance on Saturday as deGrom took advantage of not having to deal with food poisoning in addition to the opposing lineup. Even though deGrom gave up two runs and suffered the loss he struck out ten in six innings and held the Red Sox hitless into the fifth inning.
“He threw great, he threw the ball really well,” said Collins when looking back on deGrom’s start. “He felt good, just gave up a couple of runs and got his pitch count up to where we had to make a switch.”
“Yeah I felt good today, especially early,” said the reigning NL Rookie of the Year. “I just struggled there a little bit in the sixth inning.”
However Collins isn’t ready to pin the loss on his pitcher.
He threw the ball good, if you give up two runs you should be in the game and we were,” said Collins. “We just couldn’t put any runs on the board.”
Collins admitted on Friday that Harvey could be skipped again if necessary, and deGrom himself is in his first full year in the major leagues, so the Mets will continue to monitor their young stars. While they will have to worry about getting their prized arms into October, this weekend should have done enough to show that they won’t have to worry about the quality of pitching along the way.