MIAMI — For the first time in three starts this season, Mets righthander Matt Harvey did not emerge with a win. But he nonetheless found reason to be encouraged after his team’s 4-2 loss to the Marlins on Sunday.
“Each start and each outing from here on in is going to be a new test,” said Harvey, who did not factor in the decision. “Being able to go against that lineup and control the damage for the most part was definitely uplifting for me.”
Harvey allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings. He departed with the Mets down 2-0, but he touched 97 mph and looked comfortable amping up when necessary.
“Matt pitched well,” manager Terry Collins said.
The Marlins took a 1-0 lead off Harvey in the first even though a batted ball never left the infield. Pesky leadoff man Dee Gordon bunted for a hit on the first pitch of the game, the first of his three hits. Moments later, he advanced to third base when Harvey’s pickoff throw sailed past Lucas Duda, ricocheted off the side wall and trickled into no-man’s land in shallow rightfield. Gordon scored an unearned run on Christian Yelich’s one-out groundout to short.
After settling into a groove, Harvey encountered trouble in the sixth, when Marcell Ozuna’s double to the gap in left-center drove in Yelich. It would have been worse for the Mets had it not been for the lumbering Justin Bour’s poor slide. Bour was thrown out at the plate, thanks to a strong relay throw from shortstop Jose Reyes and an alert play by Travis d’Arnaud to close off the plate with his leg.
Jeurys Familia may be eased back into save situations when he returns from his 15-game domestic-violence suspension on Thursday, Collins said. As part of his preparations to rejoin the Mets, Familia is set to make his second minor-league appearance on Monday for Double-A Binghamton . . . Hitting coach Kevin Long left the team on Sunday to be with his father, who is ill . . . Reyes went 0-for-3 with a walk, dropping his average to .087 (4-for-46).