Games 66-67: Pitcher & Position Player of The Game: Phenom-enal Doubleheader

Matt Harvey was amazin’ and Zack Wheeler makes his long-awaited MLB Debut. Will this be a landmark day in Mets history?

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Game 66: Matt Harvey

Were you expecting maybe Scott Rice? In the 4-3 win for the Braves Harvey was masterful. Allowing no hits till a single got between him and 1B Lucas Duda, on a play which Lucas later apologized for but is hard to argue if the out would’ve occurred had he remain at 1b, Harvey effortlessly mowed down Braves hitter after Braves hitter. The only flaw was that he did have a high pitch count, which led to controversy later in the game.

After the Mets took a 4-0 lead in the top of the 8th Terry Collins decided to bring back Harvey who was already well over 100 pitches instead of relying on his pen for six outs. Perhaps he was concerned about saving his pen with the rookie coming later, but that should be a non-factor with Dillon Gee pitching 8.1 that early morning. Matt Harvey walked the first batter, looking wild. Terry Collins still left in him in to face another batter, Dan Uggla, who singled. Terry Collins and Dan Warthen, perhaps distracted by a bright object in the crowd, STILL did not take him out and Harvey would give up a single to Andrelton Simmons.

This left the pen, specifically Latroy Hawkins, in the unenviable task of preserving a 4-0 lead with the bases loaded and nobody out. That is not putting the team in a position to win. What didn’t help matters is that Hawkins was brought in specifically to neutralize Justin Upton, who was hitless against him. Except Terry inexcusably removed Harvey BEFORE UPTON WAS INTRODUCED. This allowed the Braves to use Mccann, who has better numbers against Hawkins, instead and save Upton for later. Hawkins would end up striking out McCann, but allow two Harvey runs to score on a Jordan Schafer single. After Hawkins got Justin Upton to ground into a fielder’s choice, Terry and Dan sent for Rice instead of Parnell with the Mets down 4-2. Rice would allow a Heyward double, allowing a third Harvey runner to score, then intentionally walk Freddie Freeman and finally the Mets coaching brain trust sends for Parnell who strikes out Chris Johnson.

That is why Harvey’s line is not indicative of his performance. He never should have come out for the 8th, and never should have been left in there as long as he was: 7+ innings, 3 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks and a career-high 13 strikeouts. Harvey also threw a pitch 101.1 MPH in the first, the fastest pitch thrown by a starting pitcher this season.

Game 67: Zack Wheeler

Wheeler gets his first of what I hope to be many Pitcher of the Game awards. Pitching his MLB debut miles in front of his hometown, for the team he grew up rooting for, with Chipper Jones sitting next to his parents, he was understandably nervous and it showed early. In six innings Wheeler would give up 5 walks, 4 of them coming in the first and third innings. What was impressive was that against a dangerous Braves lineup, known for taking any mistake pitch out of the park, Wheeler kept them off the scoreboard. Despite flirting with danger in the first and third he was able to settle himself and get himself out of it. Wheeler got better as the game went along, but the early walks took a toll on the pitch count and he departed after an impressive six innings.

Wheeler’s debut line: 6 innings, 4 hits, zero earned runs, five walks, and seven strikeouts. Unless you’re comparing him to Matt Harvey’s MLB debut, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better line in terms of strikeouts and runs allowed. Mets offense came alive after he exited to give Zack his first W.

Wheeler and Harvey combined for 13 strikeouts in the doubleheader. He was sent down to the minors as a procedural measure but will be back to take his spot in the rotation. And all of Mets fandom will be watching.

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Game 66: Marlon Byrd

Byrd was 2-3 with a run and an RBI.

Game 67: Anthony Recker

Lost in Wheeler’s performance was the work on his battery mate Recker. Aside from having the dubious task of working with a kid in his debut, Recker led the Mets onslaught vs the Braves pen with a 2-4, 2 run, 2 RBI performance including a 2-run Turner Home-Recking home run to give Wheeler a lead and the Win.

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Pitcher of the Game Scoreboard:

Matt Harvey: 13

Jeremy Hefner: 9

Jonathan Niese: 9

Dillon Gee: 7

Shaun Marcum: 5

Scott Atchinson: 3

LaTroy Hawkins: 3

Brandon Lyon: 3

Bobby Parnell: 3

Greg Burke: 3

Jeurys Familia: 2

Scott Rice: 2

David AArdsma: 1

Rob Carson: 1

Josh Edgin: 1

Zack Wheeler: 1

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Position Player of the Game Scoreboard:

David Wright: 11

Daniel Murphy: 9

John Buck: 8

Marlon Byrd: 8

Ike Davis: 4

Lucas Duda: 4

Reuben Tejada: 4

Rick Ankiel: 2

Mike Baxter: 2

Colin Cowgill: 2

Juan Lagares: 2

Kirk Nieuwenhuis: 2

Omar Quintanilla: 2

Anthony Recker: 2

Justin Turner: 2

Andrew Brown: 1

Jordany Valdespin: 1

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Special Thanks to Sean Engel for the Kiner’s Korner Pitcher and Position Player of the Game graphics. You can follow him on twitter with the handle @SeanEngel05

Posted by Robert Z

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