Kirk Gibson and the Arizona Diamondbacks could do little more than marvel at the debut of New York Mets rookie Matt Harvey on Thursday night.
"He’s got a good arm and threw the ball well," Gibson said after the Diamondbacks fell 3-1 to the Mets for their second straight loss after running off five wins in a row. "He had good life on the fastball and spotted the ball well. It was pretty impressive."
Arizona managed only three hits against the Mets’ first pick in the 2010 draft: a soft single by Jason Kubel through the third base hole, vacated on an infield shift, a double to Miguel Montero on a changeup in the second and Aaron Hill’s one out single in the third.
"He was just fantastic," Kubel said. "He’s got a real live arm. His breaking pitches, too, everything was hard out of his hand."
Harvey (1-0) struck out 11 in 5 1-3 innings, and also recorded his first two career hits, a double in the second and a single in the fourth, to become the first major leaguer since 1900 to strike out more than 10 and get multiple hits in his major league debut.
"If things don’t work out as a pitcher he should become a hitter," Montero said.
Gerardo Parra, who reached base on a wild pitch after striking out, was the only Arizona hitter to reach third against Harvey. The Diamondbacks struck out 16 times overall and stranded 11 runners.
Harvey easily eclipsed Arizona left-hander Wade Miley, who gave up two runs in the first but battled back to last 5 1-3 innings.
"I was just pitching behind guys early," said Miley, whose outing was his shortest since a 3 2-3-inning stint on June 30. "I was getting into 2-0, 2-1 counts — fastball counts — and they took advantage of it."
Scott Hairston hit a two-run double and Andres Torres tripled and scored for the Mets, who snapped a six-game losing streak.
New York, which is beginning an 11-game road trip, won for only the second time in 13 games since the All-Star break, narrowly avoiding the fate of the 1962 club that went 1-14 to start the second half.
Bobby Parnell pitched around a pair of walks in the ninth for his third save.
With Harvey keeping the Diamondbacks in check, the Mets looked like an entirely different club than they had been since the All-Star break.
Ruben Tejada led off the game with a single to center, went to third on Daniel Murphy’s single to center and scored on Hairston’s two-run double off the right field wall.
Torres made it 3-0 in the fourth when he tripled to center and scored on Rob Johnson’s sacrifice fly to center, barely sliding under a strong throw from Parra.
"You’ve got to try and minimize the damage and for the most part I was able to do that," Miley said.
Kubel scored the Diamondbacks’ lone run in the eighth when he was walked by Jon Rauch, went to third on a double by Paul Goldschmidt and scored easily on Justin Upton’s sacrifice fly.
Tim Byrdak came on for Rauch and, after hitting Montero with a pitch, struck out pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay with the tying runs on first and second.
NOTES: Harvey became the first Mets pitcher to get a pair of hits in his debut since David West on Sept. 24, 1988. Harvey is the 20th player from the 2010 draft to appear in a major league game, and joined Josh Edgin as the second Mets player from that draft to make his debut. … Torres’ triple snapped an 0-for-14 streak. . New York had allowed four or more runs in each of their past 13 games, the second-longest streak in franchise history. … Montero has hit safely in 15 of his past 18 home games. … Arizona CF Chris Young, who has hit .294 since the All-Star break to raise his average to .218, was given the night off in favor of the left-handed Parra. … Before the game, the Mets recalled Johnson from Triple-A Buffalo to take the place of Mike Nickeas, who was optioned to Buffalo after Wednesday’s loss. … LHP Jonathan Niese will take the mound for the Mets on Friday against RHP Josh Collmenter. Niese gave up three earned runs in five innings in his only previous start at Chase Field.