At just 24 years old, the New York Mets’ Matt Harvey has taken
the game by storm in his first full season in the majors.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, meanwhile, are counting on veteran Ted
Lilly to give their injury-plagued rotation a much-needed lift.
Looking to become the first Met to win his first five starts in
seven years, Harvey takes the mound opposite Lilly, who’s set to
make his season debut Wednesday night when these clubs continue a
three-game series at Citi Field.
Harvey (4-0, 0.93 ERA) has been lights out thus far, striking
out 32 over 29 innings while limiting opponents to a .108 average.
He is the first pitcher in baseball’s modern era to win his first
four starts while yielding a combined 10 hits or fewer.
The right-hander gave up one run, four hits and struck out seven
in as many innings Friday in a 7-1 win over Washington.
“There’s going to be a lot of years you’re going to talk about
this guy,” manager Terry Collins said. “He pitched great, but
that’s the mark of a true ace. Games like that can spread to great
Harvey, who walked off to a standing ovation after outpitching
Stephen Strasburg, improved to 2-2 with a 1.42 ERA over six career
“He functions on such a high octane already,” catcher John Buck
told MLB’s official website. “To be honest, I really don’t think he
cares who he’s facing.”
Harvey has a chance to become the first Met to win his first
five starts since Pedro Martinez in 2006. He’ll try to get the best
of Lilly, who’s eager to get back on the hill for the first time
since May 23 after recovering from shoulder surgery.
The left-hander, entering his 15th season, will help fill in for
the injured Zack Greinke and Chris Capuano.
“I spent plenty of time on the DL last year and I can’t wait to
get off it,” he said. “Unfortunately, to be completely frank, the
last thing we needed was something like what happened to Greinke
and Cappy going down. I hope they get back as soon as
Lilly’s contributions will prove all the more crucial with Chad
Billingsley now out, too. Billingsley is set to undergo Tommy John
“We’re still in good order,” manager Don Mattingly said. “We’ll
end up with five guys that are accomplished starters (Clayton
Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Josh Beckett, Lilly and Capuano) and Greinke
on top of that. Nobody wants to hear our complaints. A lot of teams
would like to have five accomplished major league starters.”
Lilly is 2-2 with a 3.72 ERA over six starts versus New York
(9-9). He can’t be looking forward to facing Marlon Byrd, who’s
gone 8 for 17 with a homer in their matchups.
After managing 13 runs over a six-game losing streak, Los
Angeles (9-10) has scored seven in each of its last two contests,
winning both. Mark Ellis did most of the damage in Tuesday’s 7-2
series-opening victory, going 4 for 5 with a pair of homers and
“We’ve been lacking some big hits lately,” he said. “We haven’t
done a great job early on this season.”
Matt Kemp, who went 2 for 5 with a double, is a career .370
hitter (20 for 54) at Citi Field.
The Dodgers have outscored the Mets 38-19 during a five-game
winning streak. Los Angeles has also won five straight in New