Matt Harvey laments ill-fated slider to Odubel Herrera

NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey felt like he made progress Sunday. It did not prove enough to prevent the New York Mets from dropping a rubber game to the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.

Harvey delivered an off-the-mark slider to Odubel Herrera in the sixth inning, and Herrera deposited it into the stands for a two-run homer in what became Philadelphia’s 5-2 win.

Harvey was charged with three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three in six innings. He is 0-2 with a 4.63 ERA through two starts. He has struck out three or fewer batters in consecutive games for the first time in his career (67 starts).

In 10 career April starts entering this season, Harvey had been 8-0 with a 2.35 ERA.

“It felt a little better,” Harvey said, contrasting his Sunday outing with Opening Day against the Kansas City Royals, when he was charged with four runs (three earned) in 5 2/3 innings. “I think we made a stride in the right direction. I was quite thrilled with that. But, obviously, the outcome is not ideal. I made a bad pitch there and it cost me some runs. Unfortunately, today we needed zeroes. And I wasn’t able to do that.”

On the slider that Herrera launched to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead, Harvey suggested he failed to get full extension during his delivery.

“I had thrown one, I think it was to [Freddy] Galvis, to lead off the inning, and felt good with it. I threw it low, and inside his back foot, and got a strikeout with it,” Harvey said. “I think once I had two strikes there [against Herrera], I tried to do the same thing and it kind of just ran into his bat.”

The Mets have failed to score with Harvey on the mound in either of his two starts this season. Still, Harvey downplayed the lack of run support.

“No, no. I’m the one out there making pitches, and making bad pitches,” Harvey said. “It’s up to me -- and up to us as starters -- to go out and put up as many zeroes as we can. Unfortunately, today we needed that, and I wasn’t able to do it.”

Said manager Terry Collins: “What he’s made is some bad pitches. The pitch to Herrera was a slider right in the middle. Otherwise, he made great pitches. He was sailing along. It’s the same thing the other day in Kansas City. He got off to a good start, and all of a sudden he hit a wall. I don’t know if it’s the adrenaline or the pitch count or whatever it is.

“We’ve had this discussion in the past: We’re not giving him much room for error, either. When we aren’t scoring, you can’t make a mistake. And then you hang a pitch and the damage is done and you kind of get down on yourself a little bit. It’s only human nature to do that.”