Happy Harvey Day? -April 3, 2018-

Can Harvey Day become a thing again?It was such a great feeling. Waiting all day for the game to start, just knowing that when it did, that Harvey would dominate.

Harvey’s debut was delayed by a day, due to some April snow. (There is snow in the forecast for Saturday’s game against the Nationals.) Almost makes you wish that games would be played in domes or warm weather locations in April.

The Mets put two runners on base in the first and third innings, but were unable to cash in. Luckily, Harvey was effective, keeping the Phillies off the board with the help of his outfielders and occasional strikeouts.

Brandon Nimmo returned to the lineup after a weekend bout with the flu. Jose Reyes got the start at shortstop, because anytime you can give your 22 year old star of the future a rest after an off day, you gotta do it.

Jose made his presence known by getting caught stealing with the pitcher up and two outs. Hey, anytime you can get into scoring position with the pitcher up, right? Most of us were happy that Harvey’s spot in the lineup was cleared for the next inning. Not Jose. He then booted a ground ball to kick off the third inning.

Let me stop, before I become the “Reyes is a virus” kid.

Matt Harvey pitched five great innings and was removed for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the frame. Harvey allowed one hit, one walk and struck out 5 Phillies. This was such an encouraging performance by Harvey. The velocity didn’t blow you away, but he kept hitters off balance all night and avoided any hard contact for the most part.

Phillies pitcher Ben Lively also got through 5 innings of scoreless baseball, so when AJ Ramos relieved Harvey, he had no room for error. In typical Ramos fashion, he allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base safely. Did I mention Ramos scares the hell out of me?

Ramos bounced back quickly, getting the next two hitters. He got Aaron Altherr to line out to third and then struck out Rhys Hoskins, before passing the baton to Jerry Blevins. Our lefty specialist got Odubel Herrera to pop up to Frazier as the Citi Field faithful breathed a sigh of relief through the rain and mist.

The Mets got on the board right after the bullpens tight rope act as Todd Frazier doubled home the birthday boy Jay Bruce. Jay Bruce was on base due to some defensive confusion by the Phillies. No one knew who should cover second base as the Phils were employing an infield shift. As you could imagine, Keith Hernandez was none too impressed. Travis d’Arnaud continued his hot hitting as he singled home Frazier, extending the lead to 2-0.

Because of the snow yesterday, the Mets opted to skip Seth Lugo’s rotation spot. Lugo did see action though, as he came out of the bullpen in the 7th inning. Lugo looked great. He turned in a clean inning and struck out two Phillies.

The 8th inning? Well, it was deja vú all over again, as Lugo had another perfect inning with two strikeouts.

Jeurys Familia took over in the 9th and didn’t get off to a good start. His velocity was way down and he walked the lead off batter on 4 pitches. Jeurys bounced back, striking out Rhys Hoskins on 3 pitches. Odubel Herrera came up next and singled to left, creating a first and third situation with one out. Late inning defensive replacement Wilmer Flores (you heard me) made a nice play reaching into the dugout to snatch a pop up for the second out. Familia then got pinch hitter Andrew Knapp to ground out to Frazier to preserve the shutout win.

Ok. I’m just gonna say it. We lose this game in 2017. I got a really good feeling about this team this year. We got a great start from Harvey, phenomenal bullpen work, and we capitalized on a Philadelphia mistake with timely hitting.

I don’t know what the bigger story is, Harvey or Lugo.

Couldn’t be happier with the game tonight. Even though it was foggy and misty, Harvey saw the bat signal and answered the call.

Seth Lugo who will be in the bullpen soon was fantastic, pitching two perfect innings with four strikeouts.

I’ve said it before, Todd Frazier is gonna be a big part of this team.

And I’m finished with Jose Reyes.

Put it in the books, like Howie Rose would say. Great victory.

We are back in action tomorrow afternoon as Noah Syndergaard will take on Aaron Nola in what is now the series finale.The game will be exclusively broadcast on Facebook if you haven’t heard your social media friends complaining about it.

LGM


 

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