Cubs latest guests on 'The Matt Harvey Show'

Cubs latest guests on 'The Matt Harvey Show'
May 17, 2013, 4:00 pm
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Tony Andracki

Matt Harvey can do it all.

We all knew the Mets phenom and Sports Illustrated coverboy could pitch, but Friday, he doomed the Cubs with his bat, too.

Harvey drove home Rick Ankiel for the game-winning run with a seventh-inning single and was stellar once again on the mound as the Mets (16-23) took down the Cubs (17-24), 3-2, in front of 34,890 in the series-opener at Wrigley Field.

In his first career outing against the Cubs, Harvey was touched up in the first inning, surrendering two runs on three straight hits to Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano. But the 24-year-old flamethrower settled in after that, retiring 20 of 21 batters in one stretch.

"After that first inning, it was kinda 'The Matt Harvey Show,'" Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He's obviously the real deal. He had a lot of poise and velocity and command of a curveball and changeup. He's got the whole package."

When Harvey came to the plate in the seventh inning, the two teams were knotted in a 2-2 tie. Harvey was in a groove on the mound, so Mets manager Terry Collins opted to stick with his pitcher in lieu of a pinch-hitter and was rewarded when Harvey poked a single through the hole on the left side of the infield.

"That's their horse they go to," Sveum said of Harvey. "He turned Jackson's fastball around earlier in the game, so he's a good enough athlete to handle the bat and give you a good at-bat. That was his game to win or lose at that point."

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Harvey ran into trouble in the eighth inning as Darwin Barney led off with a soft single to center and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from pinch-hitter Julio Borbon. But a clutch play from former Cub Marlon Byrd to gun down Barney at the plate on a Daivd DeJesus single kept the Mets' lead intact, and "The Dark Knight of Gotham" escaped Chicago with his fifth win.

Harvey finished with 106 pitches through 7 1/3 innings, allowing just five hits and zero walks while striking out six batters. On the season, he is 5-0 with a 1.55 ERA and 0.72 WHIP to go with 68 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings.

With the No. 2 pick in the upcoming MLB Draft, the Cubs are hoping to find their Matt Harvey, and it could come in the form of Stanford pitcher Mark Appel or Oklahoma righty Jonathan Gray.

As is, the Cubs, who had won four of five games heading into Friday's contest, were quick to tip their caps to Harvey for his performance.

"We have to give credit to him," Soriano said. "It was the first time we've seen him and he's got very good command ... We got two runs in the first inning and then after that, it was all him."