The only thing more dismal than the weather for Thursday afternoon's Mets game with the Cardinals was the Mets' inept performance on the field. Once again, the punchless Mets wasted a stellar outing from rookie Matt Harvey.
When a pitcher gives up one run in seven innings and still ends up with the loss, it's frustrating. When it happens on a regular basis, it's pathetic. It would be interesting to have been a fly on the wall inside the Mets clubhouse after yet another debacle in front of an increasingly empty stadium.
To truly understand how offensively challenged this Mets team is, one only needs to look at the numbers:
The Mets have played 61 games so far and have a 24-37 record.
- In 35 percent of their games, the Mets have scored two runs or fewer.
- In 53 percent of their games, the Mets have scored three runs or fewer.
- In 69 percent of their games, the Mets have scored four runs or fewer.
Now, let's look at how Matt Harvey has been supported in each of his 14 starts.
Harvey came out of the gate strong, and his teammates provided him with ample run support in his first four starts. In Harvey's first 29 innings pitched, the Mets scored a combined 23 runs. He finished April with a 4-0 record.
Since then, it's been a different story. While Harvey has continued to mow down batters and put up impressive numbers, the Mets have become the Bad News Bears. In Harvey's 68 innings pitched since those first four starts, the Mets have put up a measly 18 runs combined in support of their ace.
In his past 10 starts, Harvey's record is 1-1 with eight no-decisions. In eight of these games, Harvey left the mound having given up two runs or fewer, and in only one of these contests did Harvey get credit for a win.
Here are some of the indignities suffered by Harvey:
The bullpen was responsible for blowing six of these Harvey gems, thus denying him six potential W's.
- On May 7, Harvey left the game having thrown one hit ball through nine innings with the scored tied 0-0. In the 10th inning, the Mets' finally scored a run to give Bobby Parnell the victory instead of a deserving Harvey.
- On May 28, Harvey held the Yankees to one run in eight innings while the Mets put up zeros. The Mets' eventually came back to score two runs off of Mariano Rivera. This time, Scott Rice picked up the win instead of Harvey.
- On June 8 against the Marlins, Harvey gave up one run in seven innings and departed on the short end of a 1-0 game. This was soon to become the legendary 20-inning marathon to find out which weak offense could score first. Of course, the Mets ended up on the losing end again.
- Most recently, Harvey surrendered one run and five hits to the Cardinals and was removed for a pinch hitter after seven innings. Of course, the Mets bullpen gave up another run, and the team went to the ninth down 2-0. In typical Mets fashion, Marlon Byrd hit a solo home run followed by a John Buck double. Had it been the other way around, the game would have been tied. Instead, it was just another Mets 2-1 defeat.
- In his one "bad" outing on June 2, Harvey gave up four runs in five innings of work. However, for the first time since April, he got some run support from his teammates and left the mound with a 6-4 lead. Of course, the bullpen gave up seven more runs, turning a victory into an 11-6 drubbing.
Harvey deserves better than what he's been given by his teammates. He could conceivably have won 10 games by now if he had received run support. Instead, his efforts continue to impress but end up being wasted.
Judging by the apathetic chants of the few fans remaining in the stadium after yesterday's loss, Mets supporters are fed up. If things don't improve quickly for the Mets, the stadium will be empty, and the days of hearing one drunk fan chanting over the television broadcasts will return.
Harvey has been a major bright spot on this frustrating ballclub and deserves to be pitching in front of a supportive lineup and a packed stadium. Instead, he's being let down regularly by the inept Mets lineup, and a fanbase tired of the constant losing.
Let's hope things improve for both the Mets and Matt Harvey.