Matt Harvey returns to top form as Mets top Blue Jays
After two comeback wins in a row, the Mets were counting on two more comebacks Tuesday night: They needed Matt Harvey to return to his early-season form and desperately needed Bobby Parnell to temporarily reclaim the role of closer.
Both Tommy John surgery graduates obliged. Harvey shook off his recent struggles to throw seven shutout innings and Parnell got the last five outs for his first save since July 30, 2013, as the Mets beat the Blue Jays, 3-2, before 24,522 at Citi Field.
"It was definitely fun, obviously going through what we did in the last year," Harvey said. "That was a big save for him and a big win for us."
Harvey (7-4, 3.32 ERA) was coming off one of the worst stretches of his brief career. He was 1-3, 7.20 in his last four outings after going 5-1, 1.98 to start the season.
Tuesday night, he was in command from start to finish. Harvey allowed four hits, walked none and struck out six. He equaled his season high with 107 pitches, 75 for strikes.
"Matt was bound and determined to have a good game," manager Terry Collins said.
After retiring Ezequiel Carrera on a fly ball to center to end the seventh, Harvey pumped his fist -- really, it was his entire arm in a circular motion with a fist-pump chaser -- as he walked off the mound.
Harvey also contributed a long RBI double to left-center in the second inning.
The Blue Jays, who had won 11 in a row and averaged eight runs per game before losing to the Mets on Monday, hardly bothered Harvey. The only thing that did was a postgame question about whether he felt his pitching had reached a "crisis point" before Tuesday night.
"No," he said. "I'm not talking about that. We're done, guys."
With that, the interview session was over.
The Mets went into the game knowing they were not going to use closer Jeurys Familia after he pitched in four of the previous five games.
Carlos Torres replaced Harvey in the eighth and made things way too interesting for the Mets, who were bailed out by Parnell and some bad Blue Jays baserunning.
Torres allowed a walk and a single before Jose Reyes singled to right. Ryan Goins, the lead baserunner, stopped at third, but Kevin Pillar rounded second and headed to third.
Curtis Granderson threw to cutoff man Lucas Duda, who ran across the infield at Pillar and tagged him for the first out.
Torres walked Josh Donaldson, loading the bases, before he was removed to a chorus of boos. Parnell gave up a sacrifice fly to Jose Bautista and a run-scoring single to Edwin Encarnacion to make it 3-2.
But Parnell, in just his third appearance, struck out Chris Colabello on a breaking ball to preserve the lead and finished things with a 1-2-3 ninth.
"It was great," Parnell said. "You want to swim, you've got to swim in the deep end, right?"
Along with Harvey, the Mets' RBIs came from Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores. The Mets scored two in the second and one in the third against righthander Scott Copeland (1-1), who was making his second big-league start.
With the win, Collins moved into sole possession of third place on the all-time Mets wins list with 340. He had been tied with Gil Hodges and trails only Davey Johnson (595) and Bobby Valentine (536).