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Harvey gets outpitched in loss to Phils

Despite picking up first loss of season, ace still notches quality start
Special to MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- In most occupations, there really is not much difference from one day to the next.

For Major League pitchers, however, one day can be detrimental. Two, well, that enters the oxymoron world of too much rest. How much an extra day of rest affected Matt Harvey is anyone's guess, and the Mets' ace didn't pitch poorly on Friday night, he just didn't pitch well enough to win.

Full Game Coverage

PHILADELPHIA -- In most occupations, there really is not much difference from one day to the next.

For Major League pitchers, however, one day can be detrimental. Two, well, that enters the oxymoron world of too much rest. How much an extra day of rest affected Matt Harvey is anyone's guess, and the Mets' ace didn't pitch poorly on Friday night, he just didn't pitch well enough to win.

Full Game Coverage

"It's different," Harvey said. "We've all been going through it. I've had an extra day here and there. Dealing with it is something you have to do, and I don't think I did a very good job of it, and I think we're all excited to go back to a five-day rotation."

The Mets' rotation will have to get used to going every fifth day as they face a stretch of 20 games in as many days, all of which began Friday in a 3-1 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Cole Hamels went seven strong innings and allowed just one run on four hits as the Mets struck out eight times against him. Harvey countered with six innings in which he allowed three runs on six hits to take his first loss after five consecutive wins to open the season.

Harvey (5-1, 2.72 ERA) battled his pitch sequences early and paid the price when Ryan Howard singled home the first run of the night in the first inning against the shift and later hit his sixth home run of the season in the fourth on the first offering from Harvey.

Video: NYM@PHI: Howard opens the scoring with RBI single

"Howard's [single in the first] was a tough one because we set up the defense and we just didn't field it," manager Terry Collins said. "It got through us, and we didn't score much.

"When you're that good, and [Harvey will] be the first one to tell you that he didn't pitch very good, but he pitched fine. You have to score more runs, and it was one of those nights, and we don't see it often, they got to him and we didn't hit."

The Mets didn't have many opportunities against Hamels, and even when they did, they never really made the lefty sweat out an at-bat. With only one run to show for their efforts, the Mets leaned heavily on Harvey, and for the first time this year, he didn't come through.

"I don't think he threw badly by any means," catcher Kevin Plawecki said. "A couple of pitches got up in the zone, and they scored three runs but that's not a bad outing. We just didn't score enough for him against [Hamels, who] was dealing as well."

"[The one thing I need to work on] is tonight, I really didn't hold runners well," said Harvey, who was stung by Freddy Galvis for three hits and two steals, one of which set up Howard's RBI single in the first. "I gave up some timely hits, and they made me pay."

Michael Radano is a contributor to MLB.com.

 

New York Mets, Matt Harvey