WASHINGTON — Matt Harvey’s latest performance brought up many questions, most of which centered upon his future in the New York Mets’ rotation.
After Harvey struggled in a 7-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on May 24, Manager Terry Collins stood with his back to the wall, surrounded by reporters.
The most pressing question was: Will Harvey make his next start?
“We’ve got to think what’s not just best for Matt, but what’s best for us moving forward at the moment,” Collins said. “There are a lot of things to consider. We’re not going to make any rash judgments tonight. We’re going to sleep on it.”
Harvey (3-7) gave up three home runs, didn’t get past the fifth inning and walked off the mound with a 6.08 ERA. He’s allowed 16 runs and 31 hits over his last three outings.
It was up to Collins to explain, because Harvey left the scene before reporters could get his take on the situation.
“The fastball is still there. He’s still got it,” Collins insisted. “Now he’s got to continue to work on the command of it.”
Stephen Strasburg (8-0) struck out 11 and allowed two runs over 6 2/3 innings in defeating Harvey and the Mets for the second time in six days.
Harvey gave up five runs and eight hits over five rocky innings.
Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon hit successive solo shots to put Washington ahead in the fourth inning, and Daniel Murphy added a two-run drive off his former teammate in the fifth for a 5-1 lead.
The three homers allowed by Harvey tied a career high. After going 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA last season, Harvey, a former first-round draft pick, hasn’t gone more than six innings in any of his 10 starts.
“I’m really surprised,” Collins said. “This guy is way too good to continue like this. The guy tonight he faced was in a similar spot last year.”
In 2015, Strasburg spent two stints on the disabled list and was 3-5 before bouncing back.
“There were definitely a lot of lows for me last year,” Strasburg said. “I am definitely trying to learn from that, to try to ride the roller coaster and stay consistent.”
Referring to Harvey’s consistency, Collins said, “I know it’s going to come back. It takes a little time.”
After Harvey left the game, Ben Revere connected off Antonio Bastardo in the seventh and Wilson Ramos went deep against Jim Henderson in the eighth for Washington.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Eric Campbell homered for the Mets, whose four-game winning streak ended.
Making his major league debut, New York third baseman Ty Kelly went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Strasburg retired the first 10 batters, six by strikeout, before Cabrera homered into the Nationals bullpen beyond the wall in right field.
Zimmerman and Rendon answered in the bottom half, and Bryce Harper delivered a sacrifice fly in the fifth before Murphy went deep.
Campbell hit his first home run of the season in the ninth off Shawn Kelley.
(DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer)