NEW YORK -- Despite his nickname "The Dark Knight," Matt Harvey apparently is not immune from the typical struggles encountered during a first season back from Tommy John surgery.
Harvey allowed a career-high-matching seven runs, and a career-high three homers, as the San Francisco Giants followed up their no-hitter with an 8-5 win against the New York Mets on Wednesday at Citi Field.
Harvey had been 15-0 in his career when he received at least four runs of support. He had a career-low two strikeouts on Wednesday, snapping a streak of 47 straight starts with at least three strikeouts -- the third-longest streak in the past century to begin a career. Yu Darvish has an active 83-game streak. Mark Prior went 50 straight games to begin his career.
"This is Major League Baseball," Harvey said. "You can't hit your spots, you can't mix things in well, you're not going to do your job very well. I just have to be better. There's no excuses to be made. My job is to go out and put up zeroes. I'm not doing that very well. Right now I'm just not executing anything."
Manager Terry Collins succinctly summed up the issue: Location, location, location.
Joe Panik's two-run homer in the first was the first long ball ever surrendered by Harvey on an 0-2 pitch. Buster Posey's two-run double in the sixth also came on an 0-2 offering. Harvey surrendered five runs in the sixth -- the most in a frame in his career.
Harvey acknowledged he is not throwing the ball where he intends. That's a struggle typical of pitchers returning from Tommy John surgery.
"Everything was all over the place," Harvey said. "I just tried to go a certain place and couldn't do it. The ball was over the middle or high. ... I'm just not doing my job very well."
Still, he refused to use rustiness from the elbow procedure as an alibi.
"I'm not going to use that as an excuse," Harvey said. "It's just a terrible performance. The last couple of starts have been extremely bad. I'm just not getting it done, not helping the team in any way. Something needs to change. I need to go to square one. We're going to start tomorrow."
Harvey has a 7.20 ERA over his past four starts. He had a 1.98 ERA in his first eight outings this season.
He insists he feels healthy.
"Physically my arm feels great. My body feels fine," Harvey said. "It's just a matter of executing my pitches."