While hoping to get some better run support from his struggling club, Harvey will try to end his winless stretch Friday against the Chicago Cubs , who will seek their fifth victory in six games.
During his breakout campaign, Harvey (4-0, 1.44 ERA) has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his eight starts and pitched at least seven innings in all but two outings. He gave up two runs over seven innings Sunday against Pittsburgh but the Mets were edged 3-2.
Harvey has received six runs of support in his four winless starts compared with 23 in his first four outings. The last of those four straight victories was April 19 versus Washington.
Since winning that series against the Nationals, the Mets (15-23) have lost 15 of 21, but they snapped a season high-tying six-game skid Thursday with a 5-2 victory in St. Louis. After batting .195 during the losing streak, New York had 11 hits with Daniel Murphy going 4 for 4.
"There were a lot of things we needed to have and we did," manager Terry Collins said. "Murphy had a good day. There were all positives, and hopefully that gets us going."
Harvey is hoping to get similar support in his attempt to become the 17th Mets starter to win his first five decisions in a season. Dillon Gee was the most recent to pull off that feat by beginning 7-0 in 2011, and Harvey will try again to join his teammate on that list in his first matchup with the resurgent Cubs (17-23).
Chicago has outscored opponents 29-16 in the last five games, and its once-beleaguered bullpen has a 1.62 ERA during the past six. Cubs relievers had a 4.57 ERA in the first 34 games.
David DeJesus has recorded three straight multihit games and has six of his 14 RBIs over his last six contests. DeJesus' leadoff homer Wednesday helped pave the way for a 6-3 win over visiting Colorado.
"We're playing great baseball and not shooting ourselves in the foot," winning pitcher Jeff Samardzija told the team's official website. "We're just looking to keep it going, keep the momentum going that we've built up in the last couple weeks."
Edwin Jackson (1-5, 6.02) will try to do his part while building on his first victory with the Cubs, 8-2 over his former team, Washington, on Saturday. The right-hander - signed to a four-year, $52 million deal before this season - allowed two runs over 5 1-3 innings and hit a two-run double.
"It was definitely nice to get that monkey off my back. ... It felt about the same size as me," he said.
Jackson went 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA in three starts against the Mets last season, taking the loss in his most recent matchup Aug. 18 despite allowing two runs and two hits while striking out 11 over seven innings.
Jackson will try to earn a win this time while leading the Cubs to their 11th victory in 16 games in the series. Chicago has won 10 of 14 against New York at Wrigley Field.
|New York Mets|
|May 14, 2013||Scott Atchison||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|May 09, 2013||Jeurys Familia||15-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
|April 29, 2013||David Wright||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|April 23, 2013||Jonathon Niese||Day-to-Day||Lower right leg contusion|
|March 22, 2013||Jenrry Mejia||60-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|March 22, 2013||Shaun Marcum||15-Day DL||Neck strain|
|April 14, 2013||Steve Clevenger||60-Day DL||Left oblique strain|
|April 13, 2013||Steve Clevenger||Day-to-Day||Left oblique injury|
|April 13, 2013||Kyuji Fujikawa||15-Day DL||Strained right forearm|
|April 13, 2013||Kyuji Fujikawa||15-Day DL||Strained right forearm|
|March 31, 2013||Darwin Barney||15-Day DL||Left knee laceration|
|March 31, 2013||Scott Baker||60-Day DL||Strained right elbow|
CHICAGO (AP) -- Having already impressed with his arm, Matt Harvey got to show off his bat.
The 24-year-old right-hander won his fifth straight decision, allowing five hits in 7 1-3 innings and singling in the go-ahead run in the seventh to lead the New York Mets over the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Friday.
"This guy is different. He's not your run-of-the-mill young pitcher," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "This guy has got some savvy. He's got great confidence."
Daniel Murphy and David Wright homered for the Mets, and reserve right fielder Marlon Byrd preserved the lead by throwing out a runner at the plate in the eighth inning. The Mets won consecutive games for the first time since May 1 and 3.
Harvey (5-0) won his first four starts of the year, then failed to get a decision in his next four outings.
"I think today, the big thing was the curveball," Harvey said after his 19th major league start. "I had that working well and was able to throw that for a strike when I needed to."
Collins said that earlier this year he would have hit for Harvey when the pitcher's spot came up following Ankiel's seventh-inning double. But with the Mets' offense struggling, Collins is thinking more about pitching and defense.
Harvey went up to the plate and singled to break a 2-2 tie.
"That was awesome," Harvey said. "That was huge for me."
Chicago took a 2-1 lead in the first with three hits off Harvey, who had allowed just three first-inning hits this year.
Starlin Castro singled, Anthony Rizzo doubled and Alfonso Soriano hit an RBI single to shortstop Ruben Tejada , who ranged behind second and bounced a catchable one-hop throw past first baseman Ike Davis for a throwing error as Rizzo came home.
Nate Schierholtz lined to center, starting a streak in which Harvey retired 20 of 21 batters around Castro's one-out single in the third.
"All of the sudden, he got it going," Collins said. "He had such a rough first inning. You worry about it late in the game. Then all the sudden he started cruising. He started getting a feel for it. I tell you, he is a horse, no doubt about it."
Harvey struck out six and walked none, with his ERA going from 1.45 to 1.55. Scott Rice , Gregg Burke and Bobby Parnell combined for one-hit relief, with Parnell pitching a perfect ninth for his fifth save in seven chances.
"After that first inning, it was kind of the Matt Harvey show," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He's obviously the real deal."
Edwin Jackson (1-6), coming off a victory at Washington on May 11, gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings for the Cubs.
Wright drove a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left in the first inning for his sixth homer. Murphy's opposite-field home run to left leading off the fourth tied it at 2.
Ankiel doubled to right just over Schierholtz's glove with one out in the seventh. Harvey, at that point 2 for 18 at the plate this year, singled to left.
Byrd preserved the lead in the eighth. Darwin Barney singled leading off and was sacrificed to second, and Rice relieved Harvey.
David DeJesus singled sharply to right, and third base coach David Bell sent Barney home. Byrd threw on the fly to catcher John Buck , and the ball beat Barney by about 15 feet. Barney didn't even bother to slide and slowed down as Buck applied the tag.
"Turned out it wasn't a very close play," Bell said. "It's disappointing, it was the wrong decision. I just watched the replay again, and it wasn't close. As a third base coach, you want to make the right decision, and that wasn't the right decision."
NOTES: Sveum would not put a date on the return of RHP Matt Garza to the starting rotation. Garza threw 75 pitches in six innings Thursday for Triple-A Iowa. Garza strained a lat muscle in training camp and has not pitched for the Cubs this season. "He did what we asked him to do," Sveum said. ... Davis ended an 0-for-24 slide with a sixth-inning single.