Gut reaction: Nationals 7, Mets 4 – 5/24/2016

harvey sadSad Harvey may soon replace sad Keanu as the meme of the moment. The struggling righty had another bad night on the mound, surrendering five runs on three homers. In just five innings of work, Matt Harvey gave up eight hits, two walks and struck out just one. Harvey actually looked okay in the first three innings, getting a lot of ground outs, including a big 1-6-3 double play. In the fourth and fifth innings, Harvey came undone, giving up gopher balls to Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, and, yes, Daniel Murphy. For good measure, relievers Jim Henderson and Hansel Robles gave up another homer apiece to give the Nationals five long balls on the night.

The Mets offense mainly sputtered against Stephen Strasburg, who held them to one run on a solo shot to Asdrubal Cabrera through the first six before tiring in the seventh. Strasburg struck out 11 before surrendering a run on a ground out in the seventh. The Mets got two more runs in the ninth on a two-run homer by Eric Campbell off reliever Shawn Kelley, but it was too little too late. Harvey left the stadium without talking to reporters. Perhaps it’s time for him to stop being so stubborn, skip a start and clear his head.

A few bright spots tonight. Ty Kelly made his Mets debut, filling in at third for David Wright, Campbell hit his first homer of the season, and down on the farm, Wilmer Flores made a rehab start on his way back to the Mets. We could certainly use him right now. Tomorrow we wrap the away series with the Nationals with a day game – Steven Matz vs. Tanner Roark. Two out of three would be great.

18 comments for “Gut reaction: Nationals 7, Mets 4 – 5/24/2016

  1. TexasGusCC
    May 24, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    FWIW, Bastardo gave up the home run to Revere, not Robles. So much for my Harvey prediction.

  2. Jimmy P
    May 25, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Not sure I’d label Ty Kelly’s debut a “bright spot,” though I suppose everything is relative.

    • DED
      May 25, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Included in the “everything” that is relative; in a sane world, which pitcher should feel worse this morning? Matt Harvey, for giving up home runs to Murphy, Rendon and Zimmerman, all of whom have demonstrated a certain level of ability, or Antonio Bastardo, for being the guy to give Ben Revere his annual homer?

      It’s relative.

  3. Chris B
    May 25, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Time to put Harvey on the DL with arm fatigue. Give him time to rest, see a physical therapist for arm/shoulder conditioning, review some tape on his mechanics, get his mind in the right place, and then come back as a new and improved Dark Knight.

  4. Jim OMalley
    May 25, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I have to agree with the DL stint suggestion. Take the two weeks now, get it together in June and then see where we stand by the start of July (with Wheeler returning as well).

  5. Metsense
    May 25, 2016 at 8:08 am

    A starting pitcher with a 6.05 ERA after 10 starts is unacceptable as a 5th starter. There are three other starting pitchers on the forty man roster that could be pitching with better results. Verrett should take his place in the rotation and Harvey should slide over to long man. Matt has been able to make it through three innings with very positive results. A few long relief outings with positive results would benefit his psyche, lower his ERA and he would still be benefitting the team. It is also unacceptable, from this fan’s point of view, that Harvey avoided the post game interviews. It appeared to be a character deficiency that he can’t handle adversity straight on.
    This afternoon I hope the Mets behind Matz can pull it out. They would even the season series and leave Washington on a positive note. Lets Go Mets

  6. May 25, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Time to send Harvey to AAA to work out his issues without NY Post page 6 breathing down his neck.

    He can work on conditioning, watch video, be out of NYC night life, and perhaps, regain himself. If he needs rehab, do it now, and not later. His love of drinking combined with the pressure he is under, is not good.

    The humility will be a bitter pill to swallow; but once digested, it brings forth health.

    • May 25, 2016 at 8:50 am

      You think you’ve got a guy with problems with drinking, conditioning and nightlife and you want to send him to … Las Vegas?

      • May 25, 2016 at 11:09 am

        I recognize the irony. Harvey would have to be of a submissive posture to his employers; something he has not shown yet. If he is rock bottom (10 starts), the minor leagues, with a strict schedule, dietician, etc, combines the discipline with the humility.

        It only works, Brian, if Harvey has willingness to submit. We could change it to the B Mets and he can still find his way to a bar.

        The viewpoint you espouse is external; passivity and lack of change. The viewpoint that allows for real change is when one takes internal responsibility and control from within; and stops blaming his environment and does what is right.

        He may not have a problem with alcohol. I think he does based upon his language (he doesn’t boast about beer; he loves it), his body fat (there have been several MSM articles about it with unnamed scouts weighing in), and his season.

        Working out tears microscopically the fast and slow twitch muscle fibers. Within hours of these tears, the body moves to repair them and craves protein. This is why bodybuilders drink tons of milk and eat eggs non stop.

        Alcohol, particular beer (with its sugar content) works contrary to the protein uptake. Some athletes can get away with it and some cannot.

        Once this happens, the athlete’s head begins to swim and looks for mechanical changes, and it feeds upon itself.

        If this is an alcohol issue, it can be resolved in less than 8 weeks. Harvey would have to be willing.

        To blame arm fatigue is to get your information from Scott Boras.

        • May 25, 2016 at 11:28 am

          I have no idea what the problem is.

          But it seems highly unlikely that the solution is either a pat on the back or a stern lecture and then continue to send him out as a starter in the majors every fifth game.

          Maybe it’s skipping a turn. Maybe it’s the bullpen. Maybe it’s the minors. I’m fine with any of these. But I want to see them do something different.

          • Peter Hyatt
            May 25, 2016 at 2:17 pm

            Agreed Brian

            Perhaps it’s my age again but I don’t recall another player where we had so much from his agent having input.

            I’m sick of it. Then:

            The missed meeting late last year, the rehab refusal in location, time followed by
            “I’m coming back early !” feigned heroics and..
            The non commitment to the playoffs to save for a big payday.

            Now they sent out a rookie to address the media.

            I like what Ron Darling told the kid: you made your family proud.

            Ron is taking some shots today. He is asking if this will impact the team and that Collins is likely sick of it always being about Harvey.

            I like it best when Keith is with him but he’s telling us some interesting things. He or Gary referenced the night life too.

            Imagine if we had traded him last year for…
            Corey Seager??

  7. May 25, 2016 at 8:48 am

    PS:

    We have Zach Wheeler back this summer. We have others who can hold the line for now in the rotation.

    There is time for Matt Harvey to get it together. Its a marathon of a season and he could be 6 weeks away from real health and a clear mind.

  8. DED
    May 25, 2016 at 9:07 am

    We humans seek parallels in the things we see, in order to help us understand each new experience. Watching Matt Harvey’s struggles, I find myself returning to John Smoltz, and his days in the Wilderness in 1991.

    Up to that season I think you’d have to have labeled Smoltz the ace of the Braves staff; he had the best strikeout numbers, the best stuff, and he was the one who had an All Star visit in his CV. But Smoltz suffered, probably, from an abandonment of conscience; he later related that when a runner got on first he came to assume that he would come around to score. Meanwhile the Braves were playing well over their heads, it seemed, with only negative contributions from their best pitcher.

    Anyway, by July 6 he was sporting a record of 2-11, an era of over 5.00. He won a few games in July, improving his won/lost record, but it wasn’t the turnaround it might have seemed, as his era actually climbed another third of a run that month. Then come August, something clicked; from then to season’s end, Smoltz’ era was about 1.50 over 95-odd innings. He was back with a vengeance, and he was their stud during the postseason run.

    What he did, he started seeing a sports phycologist, a fellow named Llewellyn I believe (not the sort of fellow I would care to entrust, since he seemed to really enjoy talking to the cameras). He helped Smoltz to visualize success; he had him watching old tapes of games in which Smoltz had been dominant, that sort of thing.

    Hey, it worked, and one has to hang his hopes for Matt Harvey on something, yes?

  9. Jimmy P
    May 25, 2016 at 9:09 am

    The goal now for Harvey should be a solid second half of the season. He needs to rest, rewind, and reset. He is a great pitcher and will be a great pitcher again. I just hope that all of 2016 doesn’t become a lost season.

  10. May 25, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Matt Harvey, 2016 = Tug McGraw, 1973

  11. MattyMets
    May 25, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Looks a lot like Strasburg last year. Hopefully he has a similar second half. Everyone is speculating – hangover from last year, mechanical issue, mental issue, chewing tobacco, night life, conditioning. There’s plenty we don’t know. Maybe he has some personal issue going on that’s weighing on him. He’s still throwing hard and still has movement on three controllable secondary pitches so he should be effective. But his location is off. This is what Strasburg struggled with early last year before straightening out.

    If we’re all so confident that he’ll eventually get back on track, maybe now is the time to discuss that long term extension. Would give us a bargain and him a shot of confidence. Just another left field thought.

  12. Jimmy P
    May 25, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    They have decided to keep Matt in the rotation and I am fine with that decision.

    Unrealistic for it all to come together against the Nationals in back-to-back games. And we simply don’t have all the information.

    I do believe this guy is a competitor. I understand giving him the opportunity to work through this at the ML level. But, yes, there are limits.

    I’d be reluctant to pull him too.

  13. Chris
    May 26, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Niese got pushed to #6 and it wasn’t a big deal.
    The order of things is, before you go to AAA or the DL,
    you go to #6. Why is there even any question?
    Because the guy has an attitude? So what.
    So do a lot of people. He wins maybe only ten games
    this year, so? So do a lot of pitchers. It isn’t easy.
    He drinks too much? So do a lot of ballplayers.
    He’ll work that out or he won’t.
    It’s not like he makes 2 mil a game, and it’s not
    like any team can work bizarre miracles to have
    all five pitchers total aces all year. Rest my eye,
    he gets plenty of rest after four innings.
    A few more starts, then time for #6. All this
    absolutism, one more start then we’re gonna….
    Like one start is make or break. No one operates
    like that but everyone has to posture.

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