Things you should know about tonight's game...
1) Matt Harvey endured a third consecutive rough outing, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four in six innings. It marked the first time he has recorded an out in the sixth since last May 28. Harvey (0-2) surrendered three runs in the first -- including a two-run homer to Kurt Suzuki -- and three more in the third. He has one win in his last 12 starts dating back to June 2, 2017.
2) Making his first start of the season, Matt Wisler retired the first 11 Mets before Asdrubal Cabrera's two-out single in the fourth. Todd Frazier hit a solo homer in the fifth and Adrian Gonzalez did the same in the eighth when New York scored three runs. Brandon Nimmo worked a bases-loaded walk Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly. Gonzalez singled in the ninth and was the only Met with a multi-hit game.
3) Jerry Blevins retired the first two batters in the seventh before allowing two hits, a walk and a three-run double to Preston Tucker, who had five RBIs. Gerson Bautista allowed Blevins fourth run on a double by Dansby Swanson and two more in the eighth.
Postgame reaction from Michael Avallone...
It's rare to lose a rotation spot after three subpar outings in April, but that's where Matt Harvey is heading. With Jason Vargas' return imminent, someone out of the trio of Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler and Harvey will more than likely head to the bullpen. A lot can change between now and when Vargas presumably returns, but it's looking like the pitcher formerly known as the Dark Knight will be the odd man out.
And to be honest? It really stinks. As a fan of the Mets, I want the team to win as often as possible and succeed with the best players on the field, so it's easy to scream and yell at Harvey for his continued struggles. But taking a step back, it's depressing to watch him pitch. Here is a man that burst onto the scene with electric stuff and a personality to match. Yes, some of his off-field decisions might have rubbed people the wrong way, but he backed it up on the mound ... until of course, he didn't.
Tommy John and thoracic outlet surgeries have shredded Harvey's ability to blow the ball past hitters and sapped the bite on his breaking pitches. His fastball ranged from 91-93 mph tonight, far below the 95+ he averaged as recently as 2015. Plenty of pitchers can succeed with the stuff he has out there now, but as noted earlier today on this blog, he's going to have to learn how to do it. He hasn't yet and it paints a sad picture of a pitcher who truly had the chance to be one of the next great ones.
As for the rest of the Mets on Wednesday, I chalk it up to a typical game that they'll lose dozens of other times in the months ahead. Wisler kept them off balance and the offense just couldn't get cranking until the game was well out of hand. With four losses in their last six games, the Mets have hit a little rough patch, which was bound to happen considering the way everything went right for them through the first 11 games. They have their aces going in each of the next two days, so the time is ripe to get back in the left-hand column.
Highlights from tonight's game...
News and notes...
New York dropped its first road game of the season (6-1). They have lost four of six following a nine-game winning streak and have surrendered five or more runs in six of their last eight games, including four straight.
The Mets were 12-7 against the Braves last season, including 7-3 at SunTrust Park.
Jay Bruce went 0-for-3 and is hitless in his last 18 at-bats and is 1-for-his-last-24 (.042)
Jose Reyes entered the game in the seventh and was hitless in two at-bats, leaving him 0-for-20 to start the season. He began 2017 in a 4-for-51 (.083) skid.
Harvey has surrendered 14 runs -- including four homers -- and 29 baserunners in 16 innings (7.88 ERA) over his last three starts. He complete six innings for the first time since last May 28, a span of 11 starts. The 29-year-old has allowed at least one home run -- 25 in all -- in 16 of his last 22 starts since the start of last season. He surrendered 38 roundtrippers in the first 82 starts of his career from 2012-2016.
The Mets (13-5) continue their four-game series with the Braves (11-7) at SunTrust Park on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on SNY.
Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 2.95 ERA, 33 Ks, 1.03 WHIP) tries to get New York back on track after receiving a no-decision despite allowing an unearned run and striking out 11 Brewers over 5 1/3 innings on Sunday. The right-hander tossed six scoreless frames but was not involved in the decision during last year's Opening Day win against Atlanta. Syndergaard is 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA in four career starts against the Braves.
Sean Newcomb (1-1, 4.02 ERA, 14 Ks, 1.21 WHIP) takes the hill for his fourth start of the season after surrendering two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings of a no-decision against the Cubs Saturday. The 24-year-old faced the Mets three times during his rookie season of 2017, including his Major League debut, and went 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.