By: Paul DiSclafani
I guess all the hoopla and second guessing surrounding the Mets decision to skip Ace Matt Harvey’s start on Sunday against Colorado was a waste of time.
Most pundits (including this writer) questioned not only the necessity, but the timing of skipping Harvey for the finale of their 3-game set in the Mile High City, considering the overuse of the bullpen. Instead, everything went just great, thank you.
Logan Verrett, who had never started a game in the majors, went eight strong innings (4 hits, one run, 8K) for the Harvey-less Mets (67-56), as they complete the weekend sweep of the Rockies, 5-1. Mets have now won 10 straight from the Rockies, dating back to last year.
Verrett made just one mistake, a HR to Carlos Gonzalez, his 30th. Meanwhile, the Mets got a lot of help from Colorado starter David Hale, who threw two run-scoring wild pitches on consecutive pitches during the same AB of Wilmer Flores. That hasn’t been done since 2013.
Daniel Murphy drove in the Mets first run with a 2B, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead in the first inning, before Hale handed them two more in the second for a 3-0 lead. Wilmer Flores and Anthony Recker drove in runs in the third inning to make it 5-0.
But the story was Verrett and his performance when the Mets needed it most. Of course, he wasn’t worried. “I joked with Matt the other day, ‘Why is everybody freaking out? Don’t they know I’m a way better pitcher than you are?'” Verrett said. “He laughed. He’s a good guy. We played together a few years back in the Cape Cod summer league, so he I think he knew I’d be able to go out there and give us a chance to win.”
Mets enjoyed a laugher of a weekend in Colorado and returned to the Eastern time zone with a 5-game lead in the NL East. All of the Mets remaining 39 games are in this time zone.
Mets travel tonight and head into Philadelphia for a four game series against the suddenly hot Phillies, who have won three straight and are now tied with the Marlins for fourth in the NL East. Jacob deGrom (12-6) gets things started, followed by Noah Syndergaard.
POSITIVES: Mets Magic Number to win the NL East is now 35 … Mets swept the 3-game series without having to use their top 3 starters … David Wright will be in the starting lineup on Monday for the first time since early April … Mets had 10 extra base hits yesterday and three more today … Mets had 45 hits in the series … Rookie Michael Conforto had a 3-hit day including a 2B and a run scored … Hansel Robles pitched a scoreless ninth with 2K
NEGATIVES: The Rockies got just 9.2 innings from their starting pitchers in the three game series and Hale had six of them today … Uribe was 0-4. His average has now dipped below .250