The magic carpet ride Matt Harvey took the New York Mets on earlier this season is beginning to fray and the right-hander hopes to regain his dominant form Tuesday versus the New York Yankees at Citi Field.
Harvey was 4-0 with a 0.93 earned run average in his first four outings, but has since gone 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA over his last six appearances. The Mets have alternated wins and losses in that time and Harvey posted a no-decision in last Wednesday's 7-4 loss to Cincinnati. He was tagged for a season-high four runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings and is 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 10 starts.
The hard-throwing Harvey, a Yankees fan growing up, has never faced the Bronx Bombers and is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA in six home starts.
Hiroki Kuroda will counter Harvey for the Yankees and the leads the ballclub in wins (6) and earned run average (2.67).
Kuroda lasted only two innings of his previous outing as he took a line drive off of his right calf in a 6-3 loss at Baltimore. Kuroda wasn't sharp in his brief stint on the hill and was torched for five runs and eight hits, falling to 6-3 in 10 starts. He had won two straight and six of his previous seven decisions.
The Japanese right-hander hasn't had much success in eight career starts against the Mets and is only 2-5 with a 4.81 ERA.
The Mets squeezed out a 2-1 win on Monday in the opener of the Subway Series thanks to Daniel Murphy's RBI single that plated Jordany Valdespin with two out in the eighth inning. Murphy was robbed of a two-run homer by Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner in the sixth inning and was glad to get another chance to step up.
"I was thinking I would get another chance," Murphy said. "I was hoping I would get another chance."
David Wright tied the game at 1-1 with a leadoff home run in the seventh inning for the Mets, who have prevailed in consecutive games since a five-game slide. Brandon Lyon picked up the win in relief of starter Jon Niese, who tossed seven innings of one-run ball.
Bobby Parnell struck out two and worked around a walk in the ninth for his eighth save of the season.
The Mets will head to Yankee Stadium for two games Wednesday and Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Yankees have suffered two straight losses and four in six tries, and now sit one game behind Boston for the AL East lead.
David Robertson was saddled with the loss for allowing Murphy's go-ahead RBI single and Phil Hughes' solid start was wasted. Hughes held the Mets to just a run and four hits in seven innings for the no-decision. He did, however, serve up Wright's game-tying home run.
"It's tough, he's not a guy who's easy to strikeout," Hughes said of Wright. "You have to make a quality pitch."
The Yankees are expected to activate relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain from the disabled list Tuesday. Chamberlain landed on the DL on May 1 with a left oblique strain and threw two innings in an extended spring training game over the weekend. He was pleased with his effort on Saturday.
"If you can throw 95, 96 (mph) at 10:30 in the morning, usually it should be OK," Chamberlain told the club's website. "It's one of those things where we wanted to make sure in between the innings, see how it reacted, just in case that would happen. I feel great."
Yankees sluggers Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis are slated to return to the big club soon.
"As I've said, it's how they feel and when we feel -- and they feel -- that they're ready," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It has to be both sides and not necessarily one."
Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson, out with a fractured left fifth metacarpal, is scheduled to see a hand specialist Tuesday and is expected to miss at least four weeks.
The Yankees took five of six from the Mets last season.