Things you should know about today's game...
1) Matt Harvey allowed four runs in the first and two more in the second in his first start since June 14 and the shortest of his career. The right-hander surrendered eight hits, struck out three and did not issue a walk but hit a batter and tossed two wild pitches in two innings. Harvey needed 37 pitches to get out of the opening frame when five of the first six Astros reached safely.
2) Wilmer Flores' 18th home run was a grand slam as the Mets cut an eight-run deficit to 10-7 in the seventh. Dominic Smith hit a two-run homer while Asdrubal Cabrera had a solo homer and an RBI single. Amed Rosario and Smith had two hits apiece for New York.
3) Jacob Rhame and Jamie Callahan made their Major League debuts out of the bullpen for the Mets. Rhame, acquired from the Dodgers in the deal for Curtis Granderson allowed two hits and struck out one over 1 1/3 innings. Callahan, obtained from the Red Sox for Addison Reed, retired two batters and surrendered two runs -- one earned -- on three hits.
Postgame reaction from Michael Avallone...
There's so much vitriol and hate directed towards Matt Harvey by Mets fans, it's really quite astonishing. I understand his past attitude has something to do with it, as does the fact that a majority of fans are of the "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately" variety, but it's not as if Harvey has gotten to where he is based on not trying or not caring. The bottom line is this: Mets fans and baseball fans in general have been robbed of a true talent on the mound because of continuous injuries ... and it sucks.
In the span of three years, Harvey has gone from looking like one of the next great hurlers to having two major surgeries. He rebounded nicely from the first, and while his potential recovery from the second can still be labeled as TBD, the early returns aren't good. Making his first start after nearly three months on the disabled list, Harvey looked like a journeyman pitcher trying to hang on as opposed to the guy who was a dominant force just two years ago.
The fastball topped out around 94-mph, but the location was horrid and his off-speed pitches remain largely absent. The hard, biting slider is nowhere to be found and his changeup is consistently up in the zone without much deception. While many pitchers succeed with a 93-94-mph fastball, Harvey's lack of command within the strikezone continues to be his primary undoing. He can't generate swings and misses due to the absence of late life on his heater and too many of his pitches are in the middle of the zone. Even the worst Major League hitters will feast on offerings like that.
A little slack could be given considering he was facing Major League hitters for the first time since June, but no matter what Harvey or the Mets say about this outing ... it was a disaster. >> To follow Michael on Twitter, click here.
Highlights from the game...
News and notes...
The Astros played at Minute Maid Park for the first time since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas on Aug. 25.
The Mets faced the Astros for the first time since winning two of three games in 2014. They had not played in Houston since 2012.
New York fell to 3-5 on their 10-game road trip and 19-29 since the All-Star break.
Harvey (4-4) had not pitched since allowing four runs over four innings against the Cubs on June 14 at Citi Field. The seven runs he allowed were a season-high and marked the fourth time in 14 starts he's surrendered five or more runs.
Cabrera is hitting .357 (10-for-28) with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs in his last eight games.
Flores has gone 8-for-29 (.276) with three home runs and 10 RBIs in the first eight games of New York's road trip.
The Mets (58-76) try for a split of their doubleheader with the Astros (81-53) tonight at 8 p.m. on SNY.
Seth Lugo (5-3, 4.85 ERA, 1.40 WHIP) starts the nightcap after allowing two runs over 3 2/3 innings on Sunday against Washington in his return from the disabled list. The right-hander has failed to pitch six innings in each of his last four starts after doing so six times in his first eight appearances. Lugo has never faced the Astros.
Brad Peacock (10-2, 3.12 ERA 1.27 WHIP) toes the rubber looking to snap a four-start winless streak despite a 2.82 ERA in that span. The 29-year-old surrendered one run over six innings during a no-decision against the Angels last Saturday. Peacock has an 0.93 ERA in two career starts against the Mets, but has not faced them since 2014.