NEW YORK (AP) The crowd was buzzing before Matt Harvey even threw a pitch. By the time he struck out his first two batters, fans were chanting his name.
But at the conclusion of a wild night inside Citi Field, the Mets were worried about David Wright’s hamstring injury – and Harvey was just happy he hung on to win.
Harvey labored through six innings during his first home start in almost 20 months, and Lucas Duda hit a three-run double to lead New York past the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 on Tuesday for its third straight victory.
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”I think obviously I came out pretty strong, and I think as the game went on, pitches were kind of creeping over the middle,” Harvey said. ”That might have been the weirdest game I’ve been a part of, maybe ever.”
Daniel Murphy homered over the right-center fence that was brought in 3 to 11 feet this season at Citi Field, and the Mets beat their NL East rivals for the 19th time in the last 25 meetings. But it wasn’t all good news for New York: Wright and Michael Cuddyer left the game with injuries.
”This is as eventful a game as I’ve ever seen. It had a little bit of everything,” Cuddyer said.
Cuddyer, who had an RBI single, exited early with a bruised hand and X-rays were negative. He hopes to play Wednesday night.
Wright pulled his right hamstring while stealing second in the eighth and acknowledged it’s possible he’s headed to the disabled list. He’ll have an MRI on Wednesday, but the Mets’ captain said this injury isn’t nearly as bad as the strained right hamstring that sidelined him for seven weeks late in the 2013 season.
”Real frustrating,” Wright said. ”Hopefully for me the worst-case scenario is two weeks.”
Chase Utley homered twice for Philadelphia and hit an RBI single after entering 2 for 22 (.091). He also was hit in the back by a 95 mph fastball from Harvey with first base open – prompting plate umpire Alfonso Marquez to warn both benches.
Harvey (2-0) was no doubt retaliating after Phillies starter David Buchanan (0-2) plunked Wilmer Flores and Cuddyer in the second, both on the left hand.
”It was intense and that’s what we kind of expect with these games in our division,” Philadelphia’s Cody Asche said. ”Tensions are going to rise every now and then.”
With the Mets out of bench players, backup catcher Anthony Recker played third base in the ninth for the first time in his professional career. Wearing a glove given to him years ago by a minor league teammate, the ball never came his way.
New York manager Terry Collins was gone by the fifth, ejected by Marquez for arguing a catcher’s interference call.
”This was a bizarre night,” said Collins, who also requested a replay challenge too late – which nevertheless led to a delay that lasted more than four minutes as umpires tried to determine whether he came out of the dugout in time.
Harvey struck out nine in six shutout innings last week at Washington, his first outing since Tommy John surgery in October 2013.
Finally back on the Citi Field mound where he started the All-Star Game that year, the right-hander whiffed eight and walked none. He gave up three runs and five hits.
”You have to get used to being out there more and more, and having a lot of adrenaline running, I kind of got fastball-happy,” Harvey said. ”But those are parts of playing through a season and coming back from an injury where you’re gone for so long. … It’s not like I’m not going to ever give up a run.”
Jeurys Familia allowed Jeff Francoeur’s solo homer in the ninth before earning his third save.
Travis d’Arnaud had an RBI single for the Mets in the fifth after Duda’s second double. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg lost a replay challenge on the play at the plate.
Harvey gave up solo homers to Utley and Asche – and even a leadoff double to Buchanan. That came in the fifth, when Harvey escaped a bases-loaded jam by retiring Carlos Ruiz on a popup.
GM Sandy Alderson all but acknowledged the Mets avoided throwing Harvey on Monday in the hopes of drawing more fans for their second home date, which often attracts a thin crowd. Attendance was 39,489, a jump from 29,146 last year for the second home game against Washington.
Mets: Right-handed relievers Vic Black (shoulder tendinitis) and Bobby Parnell (elbow surgery) began their rehab assignments with Class A St. Lucie, each throwing one inning. They’ll both need to pitch on back-to-back days – maybe twice – before coming off the disabled list, Collins said. … LHP Jerry Blevins was unavailable out of the bullpen after pitching the previous two days.
PAUL BLART: BALLPLAYER
Actor and comedian Kevin James, a Mets fan from Long Island, took batting practice on the field. He wore a No. 24 Mets jersey with his son’s name, Kannon, on the back.
Phillies: RHP Jerome Williams starts the series finale Wednesday night. He beat the Mets 7-2 at Citi Field last August.
Mets: LHP Jonathon Niese is 8-6 with a 3.00 ERA in 19 starts vs. Philadelphia, his most wins against any team.