CHICAGO - Shaun Marcum finally caught a break.
With the help of a new pitch in his arsenal, the Mets righthander threw eight shutout innings Wednesday night to beat the White Sox, 3-0, to record his first victory of the season.
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Marcum, 31, entered 0-9. The tough-luck loser might have been bound for another defeat had he not made a snap decision in the bullpen before the game. He struggled to throw his changeup, so he took a chance and decided to try throwing a splitter instead.
"It might be a new pitch that I keep working on," Marcum said, who lowered his ERA to 5.08.
The White Sox helped his cause with shoddy defense. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez committed an error that opened the door to a three-run fifth inning.
It was enough for Marcum, who scattered four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in his first scoreless start since Aug. 25, 2012, when he was with the Brewers. He recorded his first win overall since last Oct. 1, also with the Brewers.
Collins will help Harvey
If Matt Harvey gets the nod to start the All-Star Game at Citi Field, the Mets intend to do their part to ensure that the phenom can answer the call.
"I don't think there's any question," said manager Terry Collins, who is willing to juggle the pitcher's schedule to make it possible for him to start for the National League.
Harvey is scheduled to start on July 14 -- the Sunday before the All-Star break. If he starts as planned, Harvey would by rule be limited to one inning during the Midsummer Classic. The All-Star Game starter typically pitches more than one inning.
However, Collins said Harvey could be bumped back to July 13, which would make him exempt from the pitch count limit should NL manager Bruce Bochy choose Harvey.
After reviewing the tape, hitting coach Dave Hudgens sees positive signs in Ike Davis' swing, though it appears that the first baseman will remain in Triple-A Las Vegas until next week.
The Mets are expected to see a steady dose of lefties through their series against the Diamondbacks.
Said Hudgens: "I think he's pretty close."