September 8th 2015: After almost a half of week of controversy the Mets former ace Matt Harvey was to take the hill in the biggest games of his career.
First Harvey's loud mouth egotistical agent talked for him, causing the controversy. He stated Harvey should be limited to 180 innings on the season. Then Matt himself spoke out saying his doctor told him to limit himself to 180 innings. After a lot of negative press & Met fans who have been waiting almost a decade to get into the post season, jumping all over him, Harvey took back some of his words. He then wisely said- I will pitch in the post season! Even former Mets Cy Young winner Doc Gooden spoke out during Harvey's controversy.
Harvey took the mound in Washington with his first place Mets up five games on the Nationals. It was certainly the biggest game of his career, pennant race wise & a big pressure game for him, hoping he could back up his words from the past weekend. But it seems he couldn't do any of the above, he was shelled for seven runs on eight hits in just 5.1 innings. A Yoenis Cespedes error didn't help matters, as the Nats took a big 7-1 lead.
But the 2015 Mets picked up Harvey, they came back from six runs down & beat the Nationals in their own ball park, getting closer to putting a nail in the Nats coffin for 2015.
With the Mets down 7-1 in the top of the 7th inning, David Wright who had homered earlier, singled to right field. Lucas Duda & Travis d'Arnaud both flied out, then Michael Conforto walked & Wilmer Flores got a base hit that brought home Wright making it 7-2.
The Nats then went to their pen again bringing in Felipe Rivero, he walked pinch hitter Juan Uribe to load the bases. Then he walked Curtis Granderson bringing in Conforto making it 7-3 Nats.
The Nats then brought in pitcher; Drew Storen to face the hot Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes made up for his earlier error, as he came through once again, driving a bases clearing double down the left field line bringing the Mets within a run.
It was his 37th double of the year, and his 34th RBI as a Mets since August 1st. He has been one of the biggest Mets late season signings in the history of the franchise. Earlier in the night Sandy Alderson negotiated a deal that grants the Mets a waiver to bid on Cespedes during the off season, bettering their chances than what was in his previous contract deal.
The Mets continued their dominance over the Nats, Daniel Murphy walked & then all runners advanced on a wild pitch. David Wight also walked & after a coaching visit to the mound Lucas Duda drew a walk to tie the game.
The Mets went to Addison Reed in the bullpen & he did something Matt Harvey couldn't, shutting down the Nats as he struck out Bryce Harper & Ian Desmond to keep the Mets tied at seven.
In the top of the 8th Kirk Nieuwenhuis who had spent the season back & forth to AAA delivered with a pinch hit HR, off Jonathan Papelbon. It proved to be the game winner, as Tyler Clippard & Jeurys Familia closed out the Nats giving the Mets a six game lead in first place in the NL East.