Terry Collins said before Monday’s series opener against the Giants that Matt Harvey or no Matt Harvey, “we still have pretty good pitching here.”
The Mets’ offense is not too bad either.
While Harvey was still serving a three-game suspension Monday for conduct detrimental to the team, Neil Walker hit a game-winning, RBI single off Giants reliever Hunter Strickland in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the injury-depleted Mets beat awful San Francisco, 4-3, before 28,453 at Citi Field.
“(Sunday) was obviously not a good day, but we’ve got so many good, quality character players in here that when bad days happen, or bad series happen, we’re able to turn the page pretty quickly,” said Walker after the Mets improved to 15-16.
Jacob deGrom backed up Collins’ words with a strong outing, striking out 11 Giants batters in six innings. DeGrom’s two mistake pitches resulted in home runs by Hunter Pence, who whacked a two-run shot in the first inning, and Giants catcher Buster Posey, who walloped a no-doubt solo homer into the second deck in left on the first pitch he saw from deGrom to open the sixth.
“I didn’t get the ball down as much as I wanted to,” said deGrom, who also singled and scored a run. “We’re continuing to work on pitching down in the zone in between starts. I feel good mechanically. I left two balls up and they got hit over the fence.”
Curtis Granderson hit a pinch-hit, RBI double with two outs in the sixth, but Michael Conforto struck out to end the inning. In the fifth inning, T.J. Rivera hit an RBI double to drive in deGrom and tie the game, 2-2. The Mets had runners on second and third with no outs, but Giants starter Matt Moore escaped further damage as he induced two fly balls and then whiffed Walker to end the frame.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Neil Walker’s walk-off, RBI single. It was his third career walk-off RBI.
Curtis Granderson’s pinch-hit RBI double in the sixth tied the game 3-3 and set the stage for Walker’s game-winning hit.
Jacob deGrom. Even though he got a no-decision, deGrom struck out 11 Giants.
14. The number of career games in which deGrom has double-digit strikeouts, including Monday’s 4-3 win.
Jeurys Familia. The Mets closer earned the win (1-0) and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to get some measure of revenge on the team that beat him in last year’s NL Wild Card game.
Christian Arroyo. The Giants shortstop earned a golden sombrero after striking out four times Monday.
Tuesday – RHP Zack Wheeler (1-2, 4.78) vs. RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-4, 5.03)
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“He’s a big guy, a big figure in New York. That’s a big city to be a big figure in.” – Terry Collins on Matt Harvey before Monday’s game.