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Groundouts golden in Harvey's tough outing

Right-hander unable to contain Yankees, but content with mechanics
Special to MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- A glance at the box score of the Subway Series game -- a 10-3 loss to the Yankees on Saturday -- does not reveal good results for Mets starter Matt Harvey. A deeper dive into it -- and what wasn't shown on it -- provided some signs of encouragement.

That's because Harvey was credited with giving up five runs in 4 2/3 innings on six hits, including a no-doubt two-run homer off the bat of Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

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TAMPA, Fla. -- A glance at the box score of the Subway Series game -- a 10-3 loss to the Yankees on Saturday -- does not reveal good results for Mets starter Matt Harvey. A deeper dive into it -- and what wasn't shown on it -- provided some signs of encouragement.

That's because Harvey was credited with giving up five runs in 4 2/3 innings on six hits, including a no-doubt two-run homer off the bat of Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

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But the 28-year-old right-hander also got Stanton to go down swinging on his prior trip to the plate, when runners were standing on second and third. Harvey mostly kept the ball down as well, forcing 10 groundouts against just one flyout.

"There were a lot of good pitches and a lot of bad pitches," Harvey said. "It's still March 10 and my third start. A lineup like that, you have to be really fine, and I think it's hard to say that on March 10 that you're going to be as fine as you want to be."

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Then there was the radar. On a cloudy day with temperatures hovering around 70 degrees, Harvey's fastball sat in the lower-to-mid 90s. He threw 60 pitches on the day.

"I really wanted to throw the fastball as much as possible, and obviously, a couple of them were up in the zone," Harvey said. "But the focus for me was that from the beginning of the start to the end of the start, I was concentrating on my mechanics and keeping those smooth and where I wanted them. And I feel that I did that very well today."

One of those fastballs left up was the home run by Stanton. Harvey said that he stumbled off the mound on the pitch, causing him to lose his command.

"I saw where Travis [d'Arnaud] had his glove and it looked pretty close," Harvey said of the pitch. "Those can go either way, and you have to do a better job. One too many fastballs, and that one obviously ran over the middle of the plate. With a hitter like that, you can't do that."

At other times, Harvey seemed like the victim of bad luck. In the first, after Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge singled to lead off the game and Stanton was plunked by a pitch to load the bases, Harvey forced a ground ball by Brandon Drury. Amed Rosario was unable to throw Stanton out at second, giving the Yankees a run.

Video: NYM@NYY: Stanton gets plunked by Harvey in the 1st

One batter later, Tyler Austin grounded to third baseman Wilmer Flores, who got the lead runner out at second. But Jose Reyes was unable to turn the double play.

The third time was the charm, as another groundout by Austin Romine finally resulted in a double play.

"That's baseball, and I think the inning could have gotten along worse than it did," Harvey said. "Getting four or five ground balls, most of the time you'll get the double play and you hope to get out with one run or no runs, but it could have been a lot worse."

But spring is more process-driven than results, and all in all, Harvey is happy with where he is.

"Getting into those fourth and fifth innings, you really want to make sure your mechanics are sound," Harvey said. "You do get tired towards those later innings, and to keep focused on those, it's something I felt like I did pretty well."

Greg Zeck is a contributor to MLB.com.

New York Mets, Matt Harvey