Mets' Harvey dominates Padres in 2013 debut
New York — An icy wind was whipping off Flushing Bay and many of the Mets and Padres were bundled up, yet there was Matt Harvey firing pinpoint fastballs with ease — all while wearing an undershirt with sleeves that barely covered his elbows.
Yeah, he's one cool kid.
The 24-year-old with little concern for the elements allowed one hit and struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings for his first home win, Lucas Duda hit the first of the Mets' three homers and New York beat San Diego 8-4 on Wednesday night.
"He pitched an absolutely — under the circumstances — an unbelievable game," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "The fact that he commanded his stuff as well as he did was impressive."
Left-handed batters John Buck and Ike Davis also connected against homer-prone lefty Clayton Richard in the Mets' second straight romp over San Diego. They opened the season with an 11-2 win Monday.
David Wright added an RBI double and Duda doubled, reached base three times and scored twice in a game that began with a wind chill of 32 degrees.
"We need to get a win, no doubt about it," Padres manager Bud Black said.
Making his 11th career start — fifth at home — the 24-year-old Harvey warmed up quickly in the frosty conditions in front of a crowd of 22,239. The Mets' 2010 No. 1 draft pick (seventh overall) didn't allow a baserunner until Everth Cabrera singled to center field leading off the fourth and faced 22 batters, one over the minimum.
With the 22-mph wind ruffling his jersey, Harvey also singled in the second — and did not ask for a jacket on the base paths.
"I like to play baseball, and, in my mind, a jacket doesn't belong on the baseball field," Harvey said.
He did reluctantly make one concession to the cold: He said the undershirt he wore was a little thicker than normal.
Harvey (1-0) picked Cabrera off first base when the speedy shortstop tried taking an extra stride in his lead while Will Venable was batting. Venable walked but Carlos Quentin hit into a 5-4-3 double play.
"All his stuff is electric," said Buck, Harvey's catcher.
Harvey walked Quentin with two outs in the seventh as paper wrappers swirled around the field.
The Mets hold up Harvey as a symbol for the direction this franchise is headed as one of several highly touted young arms in the organization. He hasn't disappointed since getting the call July 26. He went 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA in 10 starts and is now filling the No. 2 starter role with Johan Santana out for the season because of shoulder surgery.
"He's a little different than he was last fall," Collins said. "Last fall he wanted to show everybody that his stuff was plus stuff. ... He's becoming a pitcher."
Duda hit a laser line drive into the second deck in right field in the second after Marlon Byrd singled off Richard (0-1). Duda doubled in the fourth ahead of Buck's homer.
"That's a little bit unusual for Clay. He's been pretty solid against the left-handed hitters in his career," Black said. "He just got the ball up, he really did."
With the flags atop the stadium stiffly pointing toward right, Buck lofted an opposite-field fly ball that landed in the netting just beyond the right field fence to make it 4-0.
Buck also had an RBI single three batters after Davis crushed a ball just short of the bridge beyond the bullpens in right-center. Davis was 0 for 7 before the homer.
"It was a tremendous relief," Davis said. "Especially after the first game," in which he went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts.
Richard was troubled by the longball last year, giving up an NL-high 31 in 33 starts and this was a discouraging first start to 2013. He was lifted after walking Byrd in the fifth and allowed seven hits and eight runs — seven earned — in 4 1-3 innings.
"There wasn't much that was working," Richard said. "Really, I didn't have good stuff and then when you don't have good stuff and are not able to command down, it's going to be trouble."
Cameron Maybin had an RBI groundout in the eighth off Greg Burke to end the shutout. Nick Hundley had an RBI double in a three-run ninth.
• Mets RHP Shaun Marcum will have his neck and shoulder examined by team doctors in New York today. Aaron Laffey likely will start in Marcum's place Sunday. ... Padres prospect Casey Kelly, a key piece in the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston in December 2010, had Tommy John surgery Tuesday on his right elbow. Black said the operation went as planned and that Kelly will begin to follow the protocol for rehabilitation that generally takes about a year. ... Harvey struck out 10 twice last season. His high of 11 came in his debut.
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