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June 19, 2013

What You Need to Know

Wheeling and Dealing

by Daniel Rathman


The Tuesday Takeaway
With two of the league’s most talented young starters toeing the slab for their team, Mets fans got a glimpse into their future during Tuesday’s doubleheader. And if the twinbill sweep, on the backs of second-year ace Matt Harvey and rookie flamethrower Zack Wheeler, is any harbinger of what is to come, that future could be awfully bright.

Harvey went first, and he cared little about giving Wheeler a tough act to follow. Seven scoreless innings, the first six of them hitless, will do that. Thirteen strikeouts will do that, too. And though Harvey was ultimately charged with three runs—after allowing the first three Braves batters to reach base in the bottom of the eighth and watching LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Rice permit all of them to score—he paved the way to the Mets’ 4-3 win.

Armed with some of the nastiest stuff he has possessed in a sophomore campaign during which nastiness has been the name of his game, Harvey touched triple digits with his fastball and as high as 93 mph with his outstanding slider. The Braves are wont to whiff against virtually any hurler, but at times on Tuesday afternoon, the University of North Carolina product left them helpless.

All together, Harvey induced 23 swings and misses and 28 foul balls, which accounted for 51 of the 74 strikes he notched in the 116 total pitches that he threw. Eight of the whiffs came on his heater, another 10 came on the slider, and though his curveball was a relative slouch, eliciting just four in 15 tries, only once did Harvey throw the hook for a ball.

Bobby Parnell nailed down the door, fanning Chris Johnson with the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position in the eighth and working around an infield single in the ninth, and in doing so, he picked up his first multi-inning save of the season. ESPN New York beat writer Adam Rubin pointed out that although Parnell had previously earned a save that required more than three outs, that one came on a rules technicality in a 9-0 blowout on August 5, 2009. This save was Parnell’s 10th of the season, and it was on to game two at Turner Field.

The Mets picked up a leadoff hit, but were retired quickly by Paul Maholm with the help of a double play in the top of the first, and the Zack Wheeler show began ominously, with a walk to Andrelton Simmons.

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<< Previous Article
The Lineup Card: 8 Pot... (06/19)
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Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (06/18)
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Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (06/20)
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