Yet it was the Chicago Cubs' clubhouse that was oozing with confidence after the game, because of all the blistering shots they had hit off Harvey after the first turn through the batting order. Maybe they didn't beat Harvey in Game 1, but if you injected truth serum into the Cubs, one of the hottest teams in the majors over the past 2 1/2 months, there likely exists a raging belief that they would've beaten him if not for some directional misfortune.
"I thought we had good at-bats," said veteran catcher David Ross. "Hit the ball hard, actually."
Said Kyle Schwarber: "We hit the ball hard today; some things didn't go our way."
And center fielder Dexter Fowler: "We squared up a lot of balls."
You might assume that this was a case of a beaten team trying to convince themselves that they were better than they actually were against Harvey, who needed only 29 pitches to get through the first three innings and whiffed six of the first 12 Cubs hitters he faced.
But after Harvey established early in the game that he would use his off-speed pitches right away -- his second pitch of the night was a changeup to Fowler -- Cubs hitters began adjusting, with many of them hammering rockets.
In Schwarber's second at-bat, he smoked a line drive that caused Wilmer Flores to recoil as the shortstop caught the ball. Starlin Castro launched a double to deep center field in the fifth. In the sixth, Fowler mashed a liner that hit Harvey in the pitching arm -- "denting" the pitcher, to use Harvey's word -- before Harvey retrieved the ball and threw out Fowler. Kris Bryant lined out to shortstop, and in the eighth, Schwarber hit a ball seemingly into another borough; it was a long home run.
Mets manager Terry Collins came to the mound to get Harvey after that, but for Harvey, this was a night of redemption. For the Mets' fans, it was a great night, a good first step in a best-of-seven series.
But in the Cubs' clubhouse, the perspective was dramatically different.