Matt Harvey might be the most well-known undefeated pitcher taking the hill Wednesday afternoon, but he's not the only one.
The Reds have not lost a series in New York since 2009 and have won 10 of the last 13 overall between the teams.
On Wednesday, however, the spotlight will be on Harvey (5-0, 1.55 ERA), who is third in the majors in ERA and seventh with 68 strikeouts. He survived a shaky first inning Friday against the Chicago Cubs , who reached him for two runs and three hits, by retiring 20 of 21 batters and provided a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh of a 3-2 victory."He had such a rough first inning," Mets manager Terry Collins said after Harvey allowed five hits overall in 7 1-3. "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 has managed to avoid losing a game despite his offense leaving him little margin for error. He has received just nine runs of support over his last five starts from an offense that has been held to three or fewer runs in 13 of 16 games.
Harvey won his only start against the Reds (28-18), limiting them to one run and four hits while striking out eight in 7 2-3 innings of an 8-4 victory on Aug. 16.
Latos (4-0, 2.91) has had success against the Mets, posting a 2-1 record and 2.70 ERA in five lifetime starts. In his last appearance on Aug. 14, he scattered five hits and two walks in seven innings, but did not get a decision in Cincinnati's 3-0 win.
Latos could have been 5-0 if not for a rough ninth inning against the Marlins on Thursday. Latos surrendered two runs and four hits in 8 1-3 innings, but Aroldis Chapman failed to get the final two outs after Latos allowed a ninth-inning triple in Cincinnati's eventual 5-3, 10-inning victory.
It was a strong bounce-back performance after he surrendered a season-worst seven runs against Milwaukee in his previous start."Latos was dealing," manager Dusty Baker said. "That's as pitch-efficient as I've seen anybody."
That's bad news for the Mets (17-26), who were shut out for the second time this season on Tuesday night. They are batting just .209 at home, which ranks last in the majors. Ike Davis is just 1 for his last 36, while Ruben Tejada (3 for 33) and John Buck (7 for 48) also are struggling."At this point we're not really getting many opportunities with runners in scoring position. So it's not about getting a big hit; it's about getting some runners out there and putting some pressure on the defense, putting some pressure on the pitcher because they're having 1-2-3 innings pretty regularly," David Wright said. "We've got a handful of guys that kind of are cold at the same time."
|April 27, 2013||Chris Heisey||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|April 27, 2013||Chris Heisey||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained hamstring|
|April 24, 2013||Manny Parra||15-Day DL||Strained left pectoral muscle|
|April 22, 2013||Jonathan Broxton||Day-to-Day||Bruised right hand|
|April 20, 2013||Zack Cozart||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right hand|
|April 20, 2013||Ryan Hanigan||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|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|
NEW YORK (AP) -- Brandon Phillips and the Cincinnati Reds are getting the good bounces right now. Ike Davis and the New York Mets certainly are not.
Phillips sent a strange double spinning over first base to break a ninth-inning tie and the Reds completed a three-game sweep of the struggling Mets with a 7-4 victory Wednesday.
Joey Votto homered and Zack Cozart had a career-high four hits, all off Matt Harvey , in a game that featured a little bit of everything - including a testy exchange in the dugout between Cincinnati starter Mat Latos and teammate Jay Bruce .
"It was just an issue between the team and it's going to stay that way," Bruce said. "The only reason anyone knows about it is because the TVs caught it, but stuff happens all the time. It's over. We're a team, we're a family. Things like that happen, so everything's good and it's a non-issue."
After their spat, the Reds regrouped and won for the 10th time in 12 games. They finished a 7-2 trip against the bottom three teams in the NL East, moving a season-best 11 games over .500 at 29-18.
"We closed it out strong. We won the last three innings even though they made it tough and they had the winning run on second a couple times," manager Dusty Baker said. "We were kind of flirting with danger quite a few times, but our defense saved us."
Harvey appeared headed for his first loss of the season before the Mets rallied.
Rick Ankiel had three extra-base hits and two RBIs for New York, including a tying triple with two outs in the seventh. Daniel Murphy added three hits and drove in two runs from the leadoff spot.
With the score tied at 4 in the ninth, Shin-Soo Choo legged out a leadoff double against Bobby Parnell (4-1) and reached third on a groundout. Votto was intentionally walked before Phillips hit a cue shot toward first base.
The ball hit the baseline and bounced over Davis' glove in front of the bag. Determining he had no chance to throw out Choo at the plate or start an inning-ending double play, Davis shied away from touching the ball - thinking it would go foul. But it bounded over the bag and was called fair by umpire Phil Cuzzi.
"Instinct told me not to catch the ball," Davis said, adding he still wasn't sure if it was fair or foul even after watching replays. "It just wasn't the right play, I guess."
Choo scored the tiebreaking run and Davis was left shaking his head as Mets manager Terry Collins came out to argue.
"Anytime you lose a game it's not fun - especially on a play like that," Davis said. "Everything that can go wrong right now for me is going wrong."
Pinch-hitter Todd Frazier fisted a two-run single into center to make it 7-4.
Alfredo Simon (4-1) worked around Cozart's throwing error in the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman got his 10th save in 12 tries.
New York fell to 2-11 in its past 13 home games.
"I made all my pitches, hit all my spots," Parnell said. "Broken bats and little flairs. What can you do?"
In a matchup of unbeaten young right-handers, Harvey and Latos took a 2-all duel into the seventh, when Cozart sparked a Reds rally with his fourth hit. Votto also singled and Phillips grounded an RBI single just inside third base.
That was it for Harvey, who walked off to a warm ovation from a crowd of 30,415 that included more than 8,000 area students on Weather Education Day at Citi Field.
Bruce's run-scoring groundout gave Latos a two-run lead, but he couldn't hold it. Murphy hit an RBI single with two outs in the seventh and Ankiel tripled high off the left-field wall to tie it.
J.J. Hoover retired David Wright on a popup to keep the score tied.
Harvey was charged with four runs and a season-high nine hits in 6 1-3 innings. He had allowed three runs or fewer in 16 straight starts dating to last season.
"It's not like they crushed him," Mets catcher John Buck said. "They did do a good job of making him throw a little bit more, working counts, making him pitch to get them out."
Murphy and Ankiel gave the Mets a quick lead with consecutive doubles to start the first inning.
Cozart doubled in the third and Votto went the other way with a 3-0 pitch for his seventh home run, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.
In the bottom half, Cozart robbed Wright of a run-scoring hit with a diving grab at shortstop. Lucas Duda also lined out to end the inning and Latos took that 2-1 lead into the fifth, when Ruben Tejada hit a leadoff double and advanced on Harvey's sacrifice bunt. Murphy hit a sacrifice fly to shallow right, and Tejada scored with surprising ease when Bruce's weak throw was off target.
After the inning, cameras caught Latos and Bruce having an animated argument in the dugout.
Latos wouldn't comment, and Bruce said "there's really nothing to talk about."
"It happens all the time. It's really nobody's business but ours," Baker said.
NOTES: Jack Hannahan started at 3B in place of Frazier because Baker wanted to get another left-handed bat in the lineup against Harvey. Baker said he'd been thinking about giving Hannahan a start at 1B soon, but Votto has been too hot to sit. ... Davis has one hit in his last 38 at-bats after going 0 for 2 with two walks. He flied out to the center-field warning track to end the sixth, leaving him hitless in his last 25 at-bats with runners in scoring position.