Granderson Helps Mets Take Series Over Cubs — Matt Harvey is an issue again

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

It was a milestone night for Curtis Granderson Wednesday night at Citi Field and not a good one again for New York Mets righthander Matt Harvey. Granderson’s go-ahead home run in the eighth inning was the 300th of his career in a five-run running that paved the way for a Mets 9-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.


Curtis Granderson - New York Mets - YouTube

Curtis Granderson – New York Mets – YouTube


Taking two out of three from the defending world champions is also a positive for the Mets. They need to win series if they want to get back in the thick of things and catch the first place Nationals in the National League East. And the Nationals come to Citi Field for a four-game series Thursday night with a 8.5 game lead in the division.

“This was a big win for us coming into tomorrow night,” said manager Terry Collins. And the Lucas Duda three run homer to right closed the scoring, his 12th was another positive in this win. But as this season goes for New York, so does the constant array of injuries that provide more setbacks.

The Mets may have lost their second baseman Neil Walker for a significant amount of time. Running to first on a sacrifice bunt to first base in the third inning, Walker was in pain and grabbed his lower left leg. Hamstring or leg injury appears to be the latest setback for Walker and he will undergo an MRI Thursday morning.

Collins said, it was not known as to the severity of Walker’s injury. But the manager said, “I’m concerned until he sees the doctor.”

And prior to game time, righthander Josh Smoker was put on the disabled list with shoulder strain and there is speculation that his relief outing Tuesday night,  throwing over 42 pitches, may be the cause. In the meantime the revolving door continued as righthander Rafael Montero was once again recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Of more concern was the outlook of Matt Harvey. After giving up three home runs, including a game leading leadoff homer to Anthony Rizzo, the velocity was down. It could not be determined at times if Harvey was throwing a fastball or a curve.  After giving up back-to-back home runs to Rizzo and the rookie Ian Happ in that first inning, Harvey retired nine in a row.

But the velocity was not there and after 4.0 innings and 58 pitches, the night for Harvey was over.

Matt Harvey_Dark KnightCollins said it was arm fatigue, and it was brought to his attention. So the alarm was set off for the often injured Harvey who has not been the same since his return from Tommy John Surgery. Collins said, “If  it’s fatigue we are asking for trouble.”  Last year Harvey saw his season come to an abrupt halt and had surgery for Thoracic outlet syndrome on his shoulder, and that came after he was diagnosed with fatigue.

There is a plan for Harvey to possibly have another MRI and that could determine where this is going.  Harvey said when asked, “Other than performance it has been ups and downs.” Meaning, a season of the unexpected, though it is quite obvious he no longer has the velocity of the pitcher that had a dominant fastball.

“My arm was not working at all,” Harvey said. “In past games, it’s taken a while to get loose and get warm. Obviously since the surgery, that’s been the issue., but tonight it got loose and progressively just felt really tired.”

The Mets bullpen filled the void before that eighth inning. Jerry Blevins worked 1.1 scoreless innings and Addison Reed were key components in the backend. Blevins, 4-0 got the win.

And Juan Lagares, leading off for the Mets went 2-for-4. His two runs batted in were able to get the Mets back in the game after falling behind in the fourth inning. His triple in the sixth inning tied the game and has two doubles, a triple, home run, six RBI and four runs scored in his last eight games.

“I come to play and look for my opportunity,” said Lagares. He is getting more playing time while michael Conforto nurses an ailing back. In the meantime this was a win the Mets wanted but there is more concern about Matt Harvey and Neil Walker,

The injuries continue for the Mets. But taking a series against the Nationals is what the Mets want and that can get off to a good start with a win Thursday night as they oppose 5-1 Gio Gonzalez and his 2.91 ERA.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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