Mets morning briefing 7.27.12

PHOENIX -- Matt Harvey earned the win in his major league debut, tossing 5 1/3 scoreless innings as the Mets snapped a six-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"Electric stuff, for sure," Terry Collins labeled Harvey's performance. "Tremendous composure, I thought. Obviously, due to the velocity, the first four innings you could tell he was pretty juiced up. I haven't seen a 98 [mph pitch] out of a starting pitcher in quite some time. And I saw several out of him today. He's lived up to exactly what everybody has talked about. Now I want him to go out the next time and be a little more comfortable and pitch as effectively as he did today."

Jon Niese (7-4, 3.59 ERA) attempts to help the Mets build on Harvey's performance when he opposes right-hander Josh Collmenter (2-2, 3.82) in Game 2 of the four-game series tonight at 9:40 ET.

Friday's news reports:

• ESPN Stats & Information compiled this summary of Harvey's 11-strikeout outing, which set the franchise record for Ks in a major league debut:

Harvey became the first player in modern baseball history (since 1900) to strike out 10-plus batters and produce two hits as a batter in his major league debut. Also according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harvey's 11 strikeouts match the most in a major league debut with fewer than six innings pitched since 1900. Tim Hudson also had 11 strikeouts in 1999, in five innings.


- Worked his fastball up in the zone and above, throwing 44 of 52 fastballs to that location. The Diamondbacks went 1-for-7 with five strikeouts in at-bats ending with a fastball up in the zone and above.

- The fastball set up his secondary pitches -- the curveball and slider. Harvey threw 16 sliders and 13 curveballs (18 out of zone), leading the Diamondbacks to go 0-for-6 with four strikeouts against those pitches.

- Harvey finished at-bats when getting ahead in the count. The Diamondbacks went 0-for-12 with eight strikeouts.

Read ESPNNewYork.com's recap of Harvey's performance, including his reaction, here. Read game recaps in the Post, Star-Ledger, Newsday, Times, Daily News and Record.

• Writes columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post:

Harvey had plenty of support on the home front, even though this was a road game. His mom Jackie, his dad Ed, his sister Jocelyn and Aunt Kathy Lanuza were in attendance, along with about 15 other members of the Harvey rooting section, including three coaches from North Carolina, where Harvey starred in college. They were seated about 30 rows up from the Mets dugout. “This is unbelievable,’’ said Ed Harvey, an accomplished high school and junior college baseball coach in Connecticut, in his 40th year of coaching, now an assistant at UConn-Avery Point. “To do as well as he’s done tonight, there are no words. I’ve been to a lot of games in my life but when I sat in my seat tonight it was like whoa.’’

• Assistant GM John Ricco acknowledged the Mets' second-half swoon has impacted how the organization is approaching Tuesday's trade deadline. “We’re not as aggressive as we were a couple of weeks ago on the buying, but if there is an upgrade there, we would definitely consider it,” Ricco told Mike Puma in the Post. “We’re talking to everybody, but we don’t have a big name we’re looking to [trade] or looking to acquire.”

Jenrry Mejia is headed back to Triple-A Buffalo's rotation, even though he continues to project as a reliever in the majors, a team official told ESPNNewYork.com.

Lucas Duda started in right field in his first minor league game since a demotion to Buffalo. He went 0-for-4 with a walk. Collins told Buffalo manager Wally Backman to play Duda in the corner outfield positions, but move Duda to first base if he struggles in the outfield. The reasoning: Duda is in the minors to focus on his hitting, so he need not be distracted by fielding issues. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Left-hander Steven Matz, the Mets' top pick in the 2009 draft, made his third straight scoreless start for Kingsport. The Stony Brook, L.I., native has limited opponents to five hits in 18 innings during that span. Read Thursday's full minor league recap here.

Frank Francisco is due to make his second rehab appearance for Binghamton tonight as he returns from a strained left oblique. Collins, meanwhile, said it's realistic for Mike Baxter to be activated from the DL on Monday in San Francisco.

• The Mets put Wednesday's incident between Tim Byrdak, Josh Thole and Dan Warthen behind them. Read more in the Record.

• The Mets officially released Miguel Batista.

Brian Costa in the Journal makes the case that a collapse now was better than one after the trading deadline. Writes Costa:

It would have been far worse had the Mets played well through the end of July, traded for someone like Francisco Rodriguez and then collapsed in August. Now, both the front office and fans can view this team for what it is: not a very bad team, but not a very good one; a team equipped to compete, but not a team built to contend. Not this year. The counterargument is that general manager Sandy Alderson could have changed all that if only he would have anted up for an impact reliever sooner. For weeks, fans have beseeched him to do something. But if anything, the last two weeks have demonstrated that the Mets are not just one player away from being a playoff team.

TRIVIA: Which Mets first-round pick logged the most innings in his major league debut with the organization?

Thursday's answer: Sidearm reliever Joe Smith went to Cleveland in the three-team deal that landed J.J. Putz and Sean Green with the Mets from Seattle.