NEW YORK -- The night belonged to Matt Harvey. Years' worth of injuries and struggles in his past, Harvey earned a chance to bask in the glow of five shutout innings in the Mets' 2-0 win over the Phillies Tuesday at Citi Field.It was not until after Harvey departed that the
NEW YORK -- The night belonged to Matt Harvey. Years' worth of injuries and struggles in his past, Harvey earned a chance to bask in the glow of five shutout innings in the Mets' 2-0 win over the Phillies Tuesday at Citi Field.
It was not until after Harvey departed that the Mets took their first lead, rallying for two runs in the sixth on a Todd Frazier RBI double and a Travis d'Arnaud run-scoring single. Those were the only runs that Phillies starter Ben Lively allowed in 5 2/3 innings. He, like Harvey, struck out five.
But it was the Mets' bullpen that perhaps looked most dominant in the win. Seth Lugo struck out four over two perfect innings of relief, Jerry Blevins retired his lone batter in notable fashion and Jeurys Familia locked down the ninth, helping the Mets sew up the final four innings of their victory.
"It makes it a lot easier," manager Mickey Callaway said of his bullpen's fluidity. "It really helps for those guys to be as flexible as they are."
But Harvey never cracked for a run, limiting the Phillies to a single and a walk in his five innings. For Harvey, who went 9-17 with a 5.78 ERA the past two seasons, it was just his third scoreless outing since the start of 2017.
"It's good to be on that side of things and get some good wins under our belt," Harvey said. "Anytime you start hot like we are, you want to keep that going, keep it rolling. We're having a lot of fun in here."
What Harvey's outing offered in effectiveness, however, it lacked in length. That forced the Mets to turn to AJ Ramos, Blevins, Lugo and Familia in succession, showcasing what they trumpeted all spring as a much-improved bullpen. More than that, the Mets showed off that unit's versatility. Ramos, typically a setup man, faced the top of the order in the sixth inning, while Lugo, generally a starting pitcher, shortened up to provide two innings of relief.
He threw 19 of his 22 pitches for strikes.
"I've had good confidence lately, so I was going out there and I was attacking guys," Lugo said. "That's the same game plan starting or relieving. I was just doing my thing."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Breaking through: The Mets and Phillies traded zeros until the bottom of the sixth, when Lively hit Yoenis Cespedes with a pitch to lead off the inning. Two batters later, Frazier lined his RBI double to left, giving the Mets their first lead. Another two batters later, d'Arnaud offered some insurance with a run-scoring single to chase Lively.
If it ain't broke ... : After Harvey departed, a hit and a walk gave the Phillies a two-on, no-outs rally in the top of the sixth. After Ramos recorded the first two outs of the inning, the Mets turned to Blevins, who induced wild swings from Odubel Herrera on 70- and 71-mph curveballs. His third pitch was a 69-mph curve, which Herrera popped up to end the inning.
"I want to go out there and pitch as long as I can. But we've got Familia, so I'll let him do his thing." -- Lugo, on the possibility of coming back out for the ninth
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With his 108th career save, Familia moved into sole possession of third place on the Mets' all-time list. John Franco is first with 276 saves, followed by Armando Benitez with 160.
At 3,183 rpm, Lugo's strikeout of Carlos Santana in the eighth inning came on a curveball with the second-highest spin rate in the Majors this season, according to Statcast™ data. Minnesota's Thomas Pressly had a 3,292-rpm curveball on March 31.
The Mets are using Monday's snow day to their advantage, skipping Lugo in the rotation. That sets up Noah Syndergaard to make his second start against the Phillies in a 1:10 p.m. ET matinee at Citi Field, in a game shown exclusively on Facebook. Syndergaard struck out 10 batters in six innings on Opening Day, allowing four runs in his first victory since April 2017.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.