New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey had a Thursday night to forget. Against the Washington Nationals, he was pulled after 2.2 innings. He allowed nine runs—six earned—on eight hits with a pair of walks.
It was a record-setting night for the fourth-year pitcher, as ESPN.com's Adam Rubin pointed out:
ESPN Stats & Info showed that it was even worse than just a short outing:
Mets manager Terry Collins said the team could skip Harvey's next start, per Rubin on Thursday:
We're going to take a look -- is that best for him, is that best for us? We're not going to commit to anything at this time. But I will tell you, as I sit here today, I'd certainly trust him. I certainly believe in him. I hadn't seen him struggle like this before. But that guy that pitched tonight for them [Stephen Strasburg], he had a couple of mediocre years, and now he's resurged.
However, Collins decided against that Friday. "We really think he's got to get back on the horse, as fast as he can," he said, per ESPN.com's Danny Knobler.
In such a big game against a division rival, Harvey's year continued to spiral out of control. He entered Thursday night with a 3-5 record and a 4.93 ERA, which has now ballooned to 5.77, much to the disgust of Sirius XM's Adam Schein:
Harvey had a chance to get out of the first inning unscathed, but with two outs and two strikes on former Met and postseason hero Daniel Murphy with a runner on first, Harvey hung a curveball that the Washington second baseman launched:
The wheels fell off in the third inning when Harvey induced a ground ball from Ryan Zimmerman with the bases loaded. But the sure-handed Asdrubal Cabrera lost the ball on the transfer, and the Nationals plated a run to make it 3-1.
Anthony Rendon socked a two-run double, and Wilson Ramos added a two-run single. In the blink of an eye, it was 7-1.
MLB.com's Anthony DiComo couldn't sugarcoat things:
To put the icing on the cake of Washington's big inning and Harvey's nightmare outing, Ben Revere, who was 5-for-52 heading into Thursday night, tripled in two more runs to make it 9-1.
That was all for Harvey, who was relieved by Logan Verrett. Newsday's Marc Carig never saw Harvey in a worse state:
Once the jewel of the Mets' promising young rotation, Harvey was booed off the mound when he was taken out of the game. MSG Network's Alan Hahn, who is not a Mets fan, soaked up the struggles:
Harvey wasn't living up to his Batman-inspired nickname, The Dark Knight, in the eyes of ESPN.com's Kevin Van Valkenburg:
Newsday's Arthur Staple was expecting something in writing from Harvey:
But Fantasy Insiders' Davis Mattek thought Harvey was past that:
The Mets are now poised to drop two of three games to their division rivals in their first series of the year if they don't pull off a miraculous turnaround. That will also put them 2.5 games back of first place in the National League East.
This is something that could give the Nationals some big-time confidence as the season progresses, too. A performance like this could give them the feeling that they can take care of the Mets, unlike last year, when Washington lost the division in the second half of the season.