Published July 27, 2012
| Sports Network
Phoenix, AZ – Matt Harvey looked sharp on the mound and at the plate in his first major league game.
The 23-year-old right-hander set a Mets franchise-record for most strikeouts in a big league debut with 11, helping New York to a 3-1 win over Arizona in the opener of a four-game series.
Harvey (1-0), who allowed just three hits and walked three in 5 1/3 shutout innings, also had a double and single in his first two at-bats.
Scott Hairston stroked a two-run double in the first inning, part of a three- hit night for the right fielder. Rob Johnson added a sacrifice fly for the Mets, who started an 11-game road trip by snapping a six-game skid. It was their second win in 14 contests.
It was a long journey to the majors for the Connecticut native, who was drafted out of high school in the third round by the Angels in 2007 but did not sign. He re-entered the draft as a junior at North Carolina and was selected seventh overall by the Mets in 2010.
So far this season, Harvey has compiled a 7-5 mark with a 3.68 ERA with 112 strikeouts in 20 starts for Triple-A Buffalo this year. His catcher in his big league debut was Johnson, who was recalled from Buffalo to play in his first game with the parent club since May 30.
The two worked perfectly with Harvey fooling a number of hitters, including Paul Goldschmidt, who struck out three times. Goldschmidt was handcuffed on a rising 91 mph fastball in the bottom of the sixth.
Harvey then walked Justin Upton and left the field after 106 pitches to a standing ovation from his family. His strikeouts were the most in an MLB debut since June 8, 2010 when Washington's Stephen Strasburg fanned 14 against Pittsburgh.
"He had tremendous composure. The velocity through the first four innings, you could tell he was pretty juiced up," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He's lived up to exactly what everybody's talked about."
He was also crafty with the bat. Harvey doubled over the head of center fielder Gerardo Parra in the second and bounced a single up the middle in the fourth.
Wade Miley (11-6) gave up nine hits and three runs over 5 1/3 frames for Arizona, which had just four hits and lost its second in a row following a five-game winning streak.
Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy singled before Hairston cranked a one-out double over the head of Upton in right field to give the Mets a 2-0 lead in the opening inning.
Arizona put two runners in scoring position in the third. Goldschmidt came up with two outs and ran the count full, but was called out after Harvey painted the outside corner.
"He had good life on his fastball and spotted the ball well," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of Harvey. "We needed to hang in there, which we did. We had our opportunities, which we weren't able to capitalize on."
Andres Torres tripled in the fourth and scored on Johnson's sacrifice fly to right-center. Parra's strong throw to the plate was a tad late.
Josh Edgin entered to relieve Harvey in the sixth with two men on base, but he retired the next two hitters to escape trouble.
Upton's sac fly to right plated Jason Kubel in the eighth. With Goldschmidt on second, Tim Byrdak was summoned from the bullpen and hit Miguel Montero with a pitch before fanning pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay to cap the inning.
Bobby Parnell walked a pair of batters in the ninth, but had three strikeouts, including freezing Kubel to end the game. Parnell recorded his third save of the year.
Harvey became the first player in modern baseball history (since 1900) to strike out 10 or more and get two hits in his MLB debut, according to the Elias Sports Bureau...Prior to Thursday, the Mets had allowed at least four runs in each of their last 13 games, the second-longest such streak in franchise history...Arizona, which left 11 men on base, had won its previous six home games against the Mets.