Things you should know about tonight's game...
1) Matt Harvey worked out of several jams by notably registering strikeouts, and he finished with his best start in over a month. The right-hander allowed one run -- a solo homer by Gregory Polanco -- and six hits plus two walks with four strikeouts in six innings. He also singled for his first hit of the season and scored.
2) Jay Bruce went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs, and made a nice catch to end a Pittsburgh threat in the sixth. Asdrubal Cabrera had a two-run double and a single before he was removed during a double-switch in the seventh.
3) Curtis Granderson had his first three-hit game of the season and drove in a run. Jose Reyes delivered an RBI single and a stolen base, and Lucas Duda homered for the second straight game.
4) Paul Sewald allowed one run in two innings of relief and Neil Ramirez worked around a pair of walks in the ninth to close out the win.
Post-game reaction from Michael Avallone...
It was a Harvey Day that actually ended with a good feeling, for the first time in a long time. Considering what the last five weeks have been like for Harvey, that's a pretty good step forward. Obviously many of the issues Harvey is having stem from his stuff, but what's going on inside his head cannot be understated. Tonight's overall performance and his ability to extricate himself from a few jams will only help his psyche.
Stuff-wise, Harvey's ability to generate swings and misses is still largely missing, Harvey's velocity was strong and for the first time virtually all season, his slider was biting and his off-speed stuff was pretty impressive. He still worked himself into trouble several times, but the difference on this night was that he took control of the situations rather than the situations taking control of him. He still has a ways to go before anyone can say with any reasonable amount of confidence that he's actually returning to pre-2016 form, if he ever does, but on Sunday, it looked like he was on the right path.
A good win and a good series win, particularly after Saturday night's mess. The hitting came through without the help of the home run ball, which it hadn't done much of over the last few games. But again, the bats haven't been the issue with the Mets, who are averaging nearly six runs per game in the one month Yoenis Cespedes has been absent. This team's bedrock was and is pitching...and until it starts to perform consistently, it's going to be a tough road back to the .500 mark, much less the playoffs. But Harvey doing what he did tonight was definitely a step in the right direction. >> To follow Michael on Twitter, click here.
News and notes...
The Mets won their first series in Pittsburgh since 2012.
Duda has reached safely in all 15 games since he returned from the disabled list on May 12. He has three homers and nine RBIs in his last six games.
Granderson is batting .314 (16-for-51) with nine extra-base hits and nine RBIs in his last 16 games after going 3-for-4 on Sunday.
Harvey allowed one run or less for the 38th time in his career and for the first time since last June 28. He snapped a streak of five consecutive starts with at least three walks.
Opponents are hitting .109 (5-for-46) against Harvey with runners in scoring position this season. The Pirates went 0-for-4 on Sunday.
Bruce is hitting .333 (8-for-24) with three doubles, two homers and seven RBIs during a six-game hitting streak. He had gone 2-for-24 (.083) in his previous six games.
What they said after the game...
Terry Collins on Harvey's start: "This has got to be a big step for his confidence. He had confidence tonight that his stuff was working and when he got in trouble, I saw him make great pitches."
Harvey on getting out of a fourth-inning jam: "That's what I've been waiting for for a long time, being able to put somebody away with that and get out of a tight situation and not give up any more runs or any more damage."
The Mets (21-27) return home looking for a little revenge as they face the Brewers (27-23) at Citi Field on Monday at 4 p.m. on SNY.
Robert Gsellman (3-3, 5.36 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) opens the series for New York hoping for better results in his second try against Milwaukee. The 23-year-old surrendered three runs over six innings against the Padres on Wednesday, but the Mets' bullpen could not hold the lead in a 6-5 loss. Gsellman was temporarily removed from the rotation following his previous start against the Brewers on May 13 when he surrendered six runs -- five earned -- on nine hits in four-plus innings.
Matt Garza (2-1, 3.60 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) opens the series for Milwaukee looking to rebound from his worst start of the season. The right-hander surrendered six runs -- including three homers -- in 5 1/3 innings against Toronto on Wednesday in his first loss of the year. Garza defeated the Mets on May 12 when he allowed two runs over six frames in a 7-4 win in his second career victory against New York and first since 2014.