Harvey able to settle in, call it an early night

Backed by big innings, righty hands off to 'pen after just 88 pitches in 7 masterful frames

Harvey able to settle in, call it an early night

MIAMI -- Something, Terry Collins thought, had to be wrong. Matt Harvey took the mound in the first inning of the Mets' 8-6 win over the Marlins on Wednesday night and was throwing 93-mph fastballs, looking nothing like himself.

"He was 93 and the slider was just OK," Collins said. "And then all of the sudden in the third inning he got it going, and he pitched great from then on."

Just like that, the velocity returned -- Harvey's final three fastballs of the night averaged 97 mph -- and his results followed suit.

Now riding perhaps his best run of the season, Harvey needed only 88 pitches to complete seven innings, striking out six and allowing two hits. From the third inning on, he pitched with a multiple-run cushion, which he said helped him pound the zone with as many strikes as possible -- 73 percent of his pitches, as it turned out.

"Some run support has definitely helped," said Harvey, who owns a 1.64 ERA over his last nine starts.

By the end of the seventh inning, the Mets held a seven-run lead. In the dugout, Collins deduced that Harvey was tiring, and -- with a nod toward the ever-looming innings totals that face the ace, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard this season -- the manager decided to pull him.

Neither man could have foreseen the six-run ninth the Marlins mustered off three Mets relievers, creating a few nervous moments before Harvey finally locked down his 10th win.

"He was tired," Collins said. "When he came out after the seventh, I said, 'Are you OK?' And he said, 'I'm out of gas.' So we made the switch."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.