The Mets stormed back quickly, though, with a five-run outburst in the fifth inning. First, Michael Conforto tied the game with a two-run homer. Three batters later, Neil Walker, a former Pirate, hit a line drive to right field that flummoxed Gregory Polanco, who paused charging the ball, crouched and then dove late as Walker turned a likely third out into a triple on the misplay. It scored Jay Bruce, and the Mets had a 5-4 lead.
The Pirates were not done with their fifth-inning follies. A wild pitch by Cole allowed Walker to dart home for another run, and Lucas Duda capped the inning with a solo home run, his second towering shot of the game; Duda also took Cole deep in the second with a two-run homer. Over his last nine games, Duda has six home runs.
Despite control problems for Harvey, he was in good standing to win his third straight start for the first time since early 2015. But he yielded a leadoff home run to Josh Bell in the sixth and then walked Andrew McCutchen, sending Manager Terry Collins out to pull Harvey after 102 pitches.
“Just location,” Harvey said in diagnosing his problems. “I felt good the entire game. You score seven runs you should win the ballgame. From the first inning on I just kind of battled with location. Other than that it was just not my night.”
In five-plus innings, Harvey allowed six runs on five hits, while walking four and hitting another batter. Cole departed after five innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits.
The two former aces weren’t the only pitchers whose status diminished Friday. Reliever Paul Sewald, who in 14 previous games had pitched effectively out of the bullpen with a 2.21 E.R.A., yielded five runs in the sixth after Harvey’s exit — including a three-run homer by Diaz — and left the game to extended jeers.
“He’s pitched absolutely great,” Collins said of Sewald. “I don’t know what happened tonight.”
While Sewald’s appearance was discouraging, Harvey’s stung even more, as has yet to put together a consistent slate of strong performances this season.
In his last start, May 28 at Pittsburgh, Harvey had arguably his best outing of the year. The Pirates only scored one run off him in six innings and he looked to carry the momentum into Friday.
From the beginning though, Harvey struggled. The Pirates opened the game by loading the bases on two walks and a single, sending the pitching coach Dan Warthen out to visit. Collins noticed lower velocity early.
“I saw it in the second inning,” Collins said. “He threw one pitch and I asked Dan, ‘I hope that was a slider,’ and Dan said, ‘I think it was a fastball,’ and it was 90.”
Warthen made multiple trips throughout the game to soothe Harvey, who never looked comfortable, even with the leads the Mets provided throughout the night. After every inning, catcher Travis d’Arnaud waited to walk into the dugout with Harvey, offering a tap of the glove or a comforting slap on the back to boost morale.
But the outpouring of support — in runs and actions — was not enough.
The Mets, with help from Major League Baseball and the borough of Little Ferry, N.J., unveiled a newly renovated youth baseball and softball field Friday that is named in honor of Shannon Dalton Forde, a longtime public relations executive for the Mets who died of breast cancer last year at the age of 44. Jay Horwitz, her longtime colleague, spearheaded the efforts to renovate the field, which is situated just blocks from where Forde grew up. Among those in attendance at the ceremony were Jeff Wilpon, the Mets’ chief operating officer; General Manager Sandy Alderson and two of his predecessors, Omar Minaya and Jim Duquette; the former managers Bobby Valentine and Willie Randolph; and the former players John Franco, Ron Darling and Al Leiter, as well as third baseman David Wright. “An incredible outpouring and show of love,” Wright said.
Continue reading the main story