Today was the second Matt Harvey Day in New York this year.
For much of their Tuesday, New Yorkers skipped work to go shopping, buy Matt Harvey trees, get Matt Harvey presents for everyone and practice their Matt Harvey carols with friends and family alike. Ah, there's nothing quite like the chorus of a neighborhood quartet ringing your doorbell and serenading you with a series of Matt Harvey tunes, the songs you remember from your childhood.
But it's important not to be distracted by all the Matt Harvey Day hoopla. After all, there is still a Matt Harvey pitching performance to finish up the day. And we don't want to forget the real reason for the season.
The Dark Knight (awful nickname) was not as brilliant as he had been throughout the spring and in his first start of the season, but it was good enough to get the job done against a suddenly powerful Phils lineup. Harvey went six innings and gave up three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. Some of his dorkier fans were quite happy about it.
Two of the Phillies' runs off Harvey were powerful homers by Chase Utley and Cody Asche.
In fact, Utley was apparently so mad at all the pieces out today noting the worst start of his career, that he decided it would be cool to go 3-for-3 with 2 home runs and an RBI single. Yeah, that'll show 'em!
The Phillies came into the game with 2 home runs as a team and doubled that output on Tuesday night, with the fourth bomb of the night coming off the bat of Jeff Francoeur, who is now tied for the team lead in homers, 2, with Utley.
Unfortunately, David Buchanan had his second straight brutal outing, allowing five runs on nine hits, two walks and two hit batters in 5 2/3 innings, pushing his ERA up to 11.42. The losing margin came at the hands of Dustin McGowan, who served up a 7th inning blast to the Mets' Daniel Murphy.
However, the win did come at a cost for New York. Third baseman David Wright shockingly had to come out of the game after apparently straining his hamstring during a steal of second. This was a few innings after first baseman/third baseman Michael Cuddyer had to be pulled after getting hit on the hand by a Buchanan pitch.
In the final inning, the Mets were forced to put back-up catcher Anthony Recker at third. Unfortunately, Ben Revere, who led off the 9th for the Phillies down 6-4, did not try to bunt one down the third base line to challenge Recker. Instead, he grounded out sharply to first. Frenchy followed with a dinger, then Odubel Herrera and Freddy Galvis had two of the worst professional at bats two Major League players could have, against Mets closer Jeurys Familia.
Which begs the question… why would the Phillies not instruct Revere to try and lay one down to Recker in the 9th inning, yet a few innings before, with Buchanan on 3rd base and 1 out, Galvis attempted a bunt for reasons passing understanding, and popped out? The Phils would load the bases in the inning, but could not push anything across.
Yet another puzzling managerial move from Ryne Sandberg here in the early going.
The loss drops the Phillies to 3-5 on the season, they've lost three straight. The Mets improve to 5-3.
And now, the graph of wonder.