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Harvey dazzles, Mets flash power to top Phils

Young ace fans 10 in seven shutout frames, backed by three homers

NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey left the Phillies flailing weakly in desperate attempts to make contact. His fastball flirted with triple digits, and his secondary pitches sent Philadelphia hitters back to the bench looking completely overmatched.

To put it simply, he was dominant. The Phillies had no sufficient answers to the electrifying arsenal he threw at them.

"He's pitched some good games," manager Terry Collins said. "That might be the best stuff I've seen him have."

Having runs to work with only sweetened Harvey's day, but he really didn't need them. He threw seven scoreless innings, allowing only three hits while striking out 10. The Mets flashed their power in a display that included two official reviews that went in their favor, and behind Harvey's overpowering performance, defeated the Phillies, 5-0, on Sunday at Citi Field.

Throughout his first full season in the Major Leagues, Harvey has left hitters shaking their heads. From the first inning on Sunday, he did the same to the Phillies. He hit 99 mph on the radar gun consistently from the very beginning. His changeup hovered around 90. His devastating slider and curveball were biting.

Harvey said he could tell in the bullpen that "everything was nice and fresh."

Although he didn't have the entire All-Star break off, he only pitched two innings in his Midsummer Classic start, so on Sunday he felt rested and strong. His command was nearly impeccable.

"There were obviously some mistakes in there," he said. "But the way my arm felt and the way my body felt, definitely the best all year. I could tell in the first inning that I had good stuff and was able to throw strikes when I needed to."

Harvey struck out the side in the third and fifth innings. Philadelphia left fielder Domonic Brown, who's been tearing apart National League pitching with a .277 average and 24 home runs entering the game, struck out four times against Harvey, all of them swinging K's.

It was the sixth time this season that Harvey finished a game with double-digit strikeouts. Making that mark even more impressive is the fact that this was his fourth game in which he's had at least 10 strikeouts without walking a batter. He's the first pitcher in team history and just the 10th since 1916 to achieve that feat.

"What I really liked [was that] in the middle of the game, he was trying to pitch to contact to have some easy innings," Collins said. "And he still threw the ball by some guys."

The Mets' offense, meanwhile, provided Harvey with the support that eluded him for much of the early part of the season.

David Wright, who was celebrating the ninth anniversary of his Major League debut, turned around an offering from Phillies starter Cliff Lee, hitting it just over the left-field wall.

After the ball hit the fence above the wall in front of the Party City Deck, second-base umpire Tim Timmons immediately signaled that it was a home run, but the umpires reviewed it. The call was upheld after a 1:27 review, and the Mets took an early lead. Then the next batter, Marlon Byrd, crushed a 3-2 pitch into the second deck in left field, and the Mets had a two-run lead for Harvey.

"It was good with Harv on the mound to put a couple of crooked numbers up, especially early like that," Wright said. "You kind of allow him to go challenge hitters even more than he normally does."

The Mets added to the lead in the fourth inning, again with the help of an official review.

With runners at first and second and two outs, Juan Lagares sent a pitch from Lee to a spot close to where Wright's home run landed. The umpires first ruled it a double, but after watching the replay during a 1:30 review, they changed the call, awarding Lagares with a three-run homer that gave New York a five-run lead.

Those five runs were more than enough for Harvey, who was still throwing 97 mph in his final inning.

"Definitely the best we've seen," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "He used all of his pitches. He was aggressive with his fastball, but he also threw in and out, up and down. He threw to spots [and] did about everything you have to do."

As Harvey walked off the field after his 112th pitch, the fans gave him a standing ovation in exchange for him giving them another dazzling performance.

Scott Atchison threw two scoreless innings to finish the game, preserving the shutout and securing the series win.

In stifling the Phillies for seven innings, Harvey showed why he earned the All-Star Game start, and why he's among the best pitchers in the NL.

"I came out today and everything felt good," he said.

Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for
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