The Mets hope Tuesday marked a new era at Citi Field. They’ll look to translate the momentum gained from a seven-run seventh inning into a third win in three nights over the slumping Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
The Mets (35-45) had been held to five runs or fewer in 30 straight home games when they came up to bat following the seventh-inning stretch Tuesday. During that span, they hit .209 while being held to 20 home runs and nine stolen bases.
On Monday, they nearly approached a mark of futility set earlier in the season when they left 22 runners on base in a 20-inning loss to the Marlins, leaving 20 on base. On Tuesday, however, they were deadly efficient, stranding just three runners in their 9-1 victory over the Diamondbacks (42-41). They refused to let a lengthy rain delay get in their way, finishing 6 of 8 with runners in scoring position.
“I know we haven’t scored a lot of runs here in this ballpark, so seven was pretty good,” manager Terry Collins said. “Just took an hour and a half to finally get them.”
Matt Harvey (7-1, 2.00 ERA) would gladly wait an hour and a half for seven runs. The right-hander had a shot at three straight wins for the first time since he opened the season 4-0 after four starts, but the Mets bullpen coughed up a 4-1 lead to deny him the win. He certainly pitched well enough to earn his eighth victory, allowing a run and three hits over seven innings in a 6-4 loss to Washington Friday.
It marked the sixth time this season that Harvey has surrendered a single run or fewer yet failed to pick up the win. He finished with 11 strikeouts, the fifth time he has recorded 10 or more this season.
“I think you’d rather face anyone now except him,” said Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who went 1 for 3 against Harvey with a single and a strikeout.
Harvey recorded his first double-digit strikeout performance in his major league debut against Arizona on July 26. In his only career appearance against the Diamondbacks, Harvey struck out 11 and allowed three hits in 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He fanned Paul Goldschmidt and Gerardo Parra three times each.
Parra missed Tuesday’s game after sustaining a bandaged arm and scrapes on his face while attempting a diving catch on the warning track the previous night, but manager Kirk Gibson said he had been due for a day off regardless. The right fielder had been slumping, managing just four singles in his last 28 at-bats. Shortstop Didi Gregorius was no different with a .185 average since June 8. He went 0 for 3 Tuesday. Overall, Arizona is averaging 2.7 runs per game while having lost eight of nine.
“We’re not really clicking on anything right now,” pitcher Patrick Corbin said.
Randall Delgado (0-2, 4.05) will look to help snap the Diamondbacks’ season-worst five-game skid and his own personal nine-start winless streak.
In his last nine starts, he is 0-6 with a 4.28 ERA, although he hasn’t had much help getting just six runs of support during that stretch. Delgado allowed two runs, eight hits and three walks in six innings of a 3-0 loss to the Braves in his last start, which came Friday.
Delgado is just one of many struggling D-backs pitchers at the moment. The Diamondbacks have a 6.85 ERA during their five-game slide and have allowed a .330 average to opposing batters.