MILWAUKEE — Before the runner had even turned the corner at third base, Matt Harvey knew it was over. The Mets embattled righthander put his head down, held the ball out to manager Terry Collins as he hurried to the mound. Harvey walked slowly, head down to the dugout.
In his first start since coming back from a three-game team suspension, Harvey gave up three home runs and was chased in the sixth inning as the Brewers hit back-to-back shots off the one-time ace and piled on for a 7-4 win at Miller Park.
Maybe the Mets, still reeling from the loss of closer Jeurys Familia to injury, asked too much from him in his first start back from suspension to try and spare the bullpen.
He threw 106 pitches, allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked five and struck out six. He labored through the first five innings, but the Mets asked him to go a sixth to help a bullpen that had been hit by the news hours before that closer s Familia would likely miss “several months.”
Harvey has had a humiliating week, to say the least.
After not showing up to the ballpark for Saturday night’s game, headlines about him drinking and partying Friday night after being jilted by model Adriana Lima and then not showing up at Citi Field embarrassed him. He returned Wednesday to apologize to his teammates, manager and coaches. He publicly apologized to the Mets’ fans.
Friday, he tried to get back on track, but Harvey was not sharp.
While his velocity was pretty consistently in the mid-90’s he struggled to command his pitches. He walked a season-high tying five, one intentionally, With those five walks, Harvey has given up 18 bases on balls in 40 innings innings pitched this season. He gave up 25 in 92.2 innings before being shut down last season.
With the home runs to Hernan Perez in the third and then back-to-back shots by Eric Sogard and Orlando Arcia, Harvey has surpassed the total number of homers he allowed in 2016, when he gave up eight. With Arcia’s solo homer, on Harvey’s 106th pitch of the night, was the 10th he has allowed this season.
Harvey’s not the only one having a tough time.
Hours before the game, the Mets announced that Familia was their 11th player to go on the DL after he had surgery to address an arterial clot in his right shoulder. He is the third of the Mets four 2016 All-Stars to go on the disabled list and a huge blow to the bullpen.
Collins had lefty Josh Edgin up in the bullpen as Harvey started the sixth inning. After Keon broxton hit a comebacker off Harvey’s foot for a single, Collins decided to stick with Harvey against the lefty Sogard.
That ended his and the Mets night.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Neil Walker’s solo home run in the fourth inning homer to right field went deep to the back of the second tier. It was his first homer in 59 at-bats. His last was April 23 off Max Scherzer.
After laboring through the first five innings and immediately after the Mets tied the game, Harvey gave up back-to-back homers to Eric Sogard and Orlando Arcia to let the onslaught begin.
STAR OF THE GAME
After hitting .195 in April, Neil Walker is heating up. Friday the second baseman homered, had an RBI-single and another single and scored in the ninth.
10 in 40. Matt Harvey has allowed 10 homers in 40 innings pitched this season. He allowed eight in 92.2 inning last season before he was shut down with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
Rene Rivera extended his hitting streak to four straight games with a bloop single in the second inning.
Jose Reyes, who was 1-for-his last 14, was the odd man out of the starting lineup Friday when first baseman Lucas Duda returned to the lineup from the DL. He sat and hot-hitting T.J. Rivera moved to third. He pinch hit in the eighth and is now 1-for- his last 15.