NEW YORK-Matt Harvey threw his first career shutout Wednesday night with a masterful four-hitter as the New York Mets beat the Colorado Rockies, 5-0, in front of 27,581 at Citi Field.
Harvey has spent 2013 establishing himself as the most exciting and dominant pitcher in the game, but the National League's strikeout leader showed off his efficiency Wednesday, when he needed only 106 pitches - including 78 strikes - to complete a gem that took just two hours, 20 minutes in length.
He didn't allow a runner past second base and threw a first-pitch strike to 24 of the 30 batters he faced. Harvey got to a three-ball count just twice, both to Troy Tulowitzki. He threw more than 11 pitches in an inning just three times and retired 15 of the game's final 17 batters.
Harvey was the last Mets player to exit the dugout prior to the top of the ninth. With the crowd chanting "Let's go Harvey!" he retired Corey Dickerson and Dexter Fowler on grounders to short before allowing a single to Charlie Blackmon, who lined a ball off his leg and into right field. Harvey stayed in after throwing a warmup pitch and got Tulowitzki to pop out to second base on a full count to end the game.
It was actually the second time Harvey has thrown nine innings. He tossed nine innings of one-hit ball in the Mets' 1-0, 10-inning win over the White Sox on May 7.
This time, the Mets (51-60) ensured his brilliance would not go to waste by producing single runs in the second and fourth via RBI singles by Omar Quintanilla and John Buck, the latter of whom finished with two hits.
Rookie Wilmer Flores, who started the second-inning rally with his first career hit, provided insurance with a three-run double in the eighth off Manny Corpas.
Jhoulys Chacin was almost as good as Harvey but took the hard-luck loss for the Rockies (52-63) after allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk over seven innings. Chacin struck out five, including the side in the seventh.
Wilin Rosario, Michael Cuddyer and Nolan Arenado each had singles for the Rockies.
The Mets scored a run off three straight singles in the second. With one out, Flores singled for his first big league hit. Flores went to third on Buck's single and scored on Quintanilla's single.
With one out in the fourth, Ike Davis doubled and scored on Buck's two-out single.
The no-hitter suspense for Harvey - who has carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning three times this season - ended when he gave up a two-out single to Rosario in the second. But Harvey was still his usual impressive self as he didn't allow a runner past first in the first five innings.
NOTES: Prior to the game, the Rockies placed LF Carlos Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, with a sprained right middle finger. Gonzalez was originally injured July 7 and has aggravated the injury numerous times over the last month. Gonzalez is hitting .302 with 26 homers, 70 RBI and 21 stolen bases. ... In a corresponding roster move, the Rockies recalled LHP Jeff Francis from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Francis, whose 63 wins are second-most in Rockies history, will be used out of the bullpen. Just two of his 227 big league appearances have been in relief, though he threw 2 1/3 innings of relief on July 30 in his most recent appearance for Colorado. ... The Mets activated LF Lucas Duda from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. Duda went on the disabled list with a strained left intercostal muscle on June 22 but was hitting just .156 with one homer, six RBI and 17 strikeouts in 45 rehab at-bats. ... Mets manager Terry Collins said he didn't know when SS Ruben Tejada would return to the Mets. Tejada has just four hits in his last 34 at-bats for Las Vegas.