Matt Harvey is his own worst critic

Four consecutive base hits.

To Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey, his outing Tuesday against the Cardinals could be summed up with that bad stretch in the second inning, when St. Louis scored three runs and went on to beat the Mets 5-1.

"I've said it before in the past, what I did tonight was crap," Harvey said. "I'm not happy about it. I want go out there and go deeper into the game. I've got to get quick outs and I've got to keep the pitch count down and I didn't do that tonight."

After getting out of the second, Harvey settled down allowing just one hit until he was lifted after the fifth inning.

Mets manager Terry Collins saw the effort from Harvey in a little different light:

"(Pitching coach Dan Warthen) and I were sitting down on the bench after the three-run inning. We kind of looked at each other and I said, 'Now we'll see what we got here. Let's see if he shuts this sucker down,' and he did. He had to work hard because they've got a good lineup and a good offensive club. I looked up and it's the fifth inning and it's still 3-0. I was impressed about how he went about his job."

Harvey (3-4) allowed six hits in five innings and Collins said his pitcher got stronger after that tough second inning. He fanned four and walked three.

"He hung a couple of breaking balls up and they spray it around," Collins said. "They're a good hitting club. He's an impressive guy to be around. He's upset that he didn't pitch good tonight. He pitched OK. He demands a lot of himself, which I like a lot."

Collins had the opportunity to use rookie pitcher Jeurys Familia in the eighth inning. In his major league debut, he fanned Lance Berkman.

"He's got a live arm and he's got good movement on the ball," Collins said. "I'm very happy for him that he pounded the strike zone and there were great signs for his first outing. I don't know where he's going to fit or what role he's going to be in, but I wanted to get him in there as soon as I could."

Familia said he was nervous and excited facing Berkman as his first batter.

"I threw the first strike and felt better," said Familia. "I was excited because I know he is a superstar."