Matt Harvey almost instantly began trying to wave off Mets manager Terry Collins and a trainer after a line drive caromed off the right-hander’s knee in the ninth inning.
Stay away. He wanted the shutout.
And he certainly got it, the first one of his stellar young career, but there was no way Collins was not going to check out his prized pitcher.
Harvey proved himself with a warmup toss, then he got All-Star Troy Tulowitzki to pop up a 91 mph slider for the final out of his first complete game, a four-hitter, and New York beat the Colorado Rockies 5-0 Wednesday night.
"I don’t like when they come on the field at all so I was trying to shoo them off as quick as I could," said Harvey, who had a big ice wrap on his knee. "I felt fine, I wanted to finish the game."
Harvey said the ball just grazed his knee — even if it shot into shallow right field. Collins had a different view.
"He must have thought I was blind if he thought I thought that glanced off that his leg," Collins said. "I knew it hit him good."
Harvey (9-3) earned the shutout in his 33rd career start. He pitched nine innings of one-hit ball on May 7 but New York lost in 10.
Not this time. Rookie third baseman Wilmer Flores helped make sure of that.
Filling in for injured David Wright, Flores cleared the bases in the eighth against Manny Corpas with a three-run double for his first big league RBIs.
"I think I was a little more relaxed," Flores said a night after going 0 for 4 in his debut.
Omar Quintanilla and John Buck each had RBI singles off Jhoulys Chacin (10-6), who lost for just the third time in his last 11 starts. Flores got his first big league hit and scored on Quintanilla’s hit in the second inning. Flores went 2 for 4.
The Rockies lost for the eighth time in nine games on their 10-game road trip. They lost All-Star left fielder Carlos Gonzalez to the disabled list before the game then learned that Thursday starter Tyler Chatwood was going on the DL with elbow inflammation. His start was pushed back this week because of a hamstring injury. He tested it in a bullpen session Tuesday but had elbow trouble Wednesday.
Manager Walt Weiss was not sure who would start Thursday against the Mets.
"Tyler’s been real good for us," Weiss said. "When it rains it pours."
Harvey came out for the ninth to loud cheers. And they grew with each out.
He retired pinch-hitter Corey Dickerson on a groundout to shortstop Quintanilla. Then Dexter Fowler grounded out to short. The fans stood and chanted "Let’s Go Harvey!" when Charlie Blackmon stepped in. The cheers turned to groans when Blackmon lined the pitch off Harvey’s knee.
After his warmup toss, Harvey got Tulowitzki to pop out to second base on his 106th pitch for the final out.
"It’s awesome," Harvey said of his first shutout. "As a starting pitcher that’s what you shoot for every time."
The 24-year-old right-hander struck out six without walking a batter.
In his previous outing, Harvey lost to a most surprising nemesis, the Miami Marlins. In four starts this season against the Marlins, he is 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA. Against the rest of the majors, he is 9-2 with a stingy 1.84 ERA.
Miami tagged him for three runs in 5 2-3 innings on Thursday, but he was in command from the start against Colorado.
"He was dirty," Colorado’s Todd Helton said. "He was as good as I’ve seen in a long time."
Wilin Rosario grounded a single past a lunging Quintanilla with two outs in the second inning for the Rockies’ first baserunner. Michael Cuddyer became the next Rockies player to reach with a two-out single to center field in the fourth.
Harvey then set down 11 in a row before Nolan Arenado reached on an infield single. Replays, however, showed the throw from shortstop Quintanilla just beat Arenado. No worries. Harvey got D.J. LeMahieu to ground into a 6-4-3 double play with his 91st pitch.
The Mets have said they are going to limit Harvey’s innings and when Jonathon Niese comes back Sunday the team will go to a six-man rotation for a while to help limit but. On this night, Collins wasn’t worried.
"He deserved to go back out there," Collins said. "I’ll worry about making up those innings later."
Chacin was nearly as good, doing it with guile instead of power. Barely reaching 90 on the stadium scoreboard, while Harvey routinely touched the mid-90s, Chacin struck out five and walked one in seven innings.
He had little trouble with the top of the Mets order but the bottom caused the trouble.
Flores and Buck had two hits apiece.
"I got behind in the second (inning) and had to throw fastballs for strikes," Chacin said. "That’s why 6-7-8 were able to get those runs off of me."
Ike Davis hit an opposite-field double down the left field line with one out and scored an out later on righty swinging Buck’s single to right field for a 2-0 lead.
Batting sixth, Flores hit a ground rule double in the eighth off Corpas in center field to put New York up 5-0.
NOTES: Mets OF Lucas Duda (muscle strain in rib cage) was recalled from his rehab assignment and optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. Duda has been on the DL since June 22. Duda went 7 for 45 (.156) with one HR and six RBIs in his rehab. … The Rockies recalled LHP Jeff Francis from Triple-A Colorado Springs. … When Harvey got his fourth strikeout, the Mets flashed on the videoboard "ZackKKKK," for the Mets other young ace, Zack Wheeler.