Matt Harvey can beat you plenty of ways with his pitches.
He did well enough in that department Friday against the Cubs. But Harvey really helped himself with an RBI single with two outs in the seventh inning as the Mets beat the Cubs 3-2 at Wrigley Field.
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Harvey has been the pitching sensation of the season, and he didn't disappoint Friday after giving up 2 runs to the Cubs in the first inning to fall behind 2-1.
After Starlin Castro singled with one out in the third, the Cubs did not get another hit off Harvey until an ill-fated bottom of the eighth inning.
"After that first inning, it was kind of the Matt Harvey show," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum, whose team fell to 17-24. "Obviously getting 1 hit off him and then (Darwin) Barney's blooper, but other than that, that guy's obviously the real deal.
"We saw for the first six weeks on TV watching him, he had a lot of poise and that kind of velocity. He had command of a curveball and changeup. He's got the whole package, and obviously, he finished it off with the game-winning hit there."
Harvey improved to 5-0 with a 1.55 ERA. He bested Cubs started Edwin Jackson, who pitched creditably but fell to 1-6 with an ERA of 5.76.
"I'm keeping my head down and keep going," Harvey said in the Mets clubhouse. "What I've done the last couple starts doesn't mean anything unless I keep it going. That's the biggest thing, is going out each time and trying to put up zeros and trying to win."
Most pitchers will tell you they pitch against lineups, not the other pitcher. That might have been different for Jackson, who beat Washington phenom Stephen Strasburg last weekend.
"That's part of the game," Jackson said. "We look forward to it. It's fun to go and compete against them. It's the National League. You pitch against the pitcher a little bit. For the most part, you still have to go out and get 1-8 out or 1-9 out."
Jackson didn't get "9" out in the seventh, as Harvey's single to left field scored Rick Ankiel, who doubled to right field on a ball Nate Schierholtz appeared to have lost in a tough sun.
The Cubs had a great chance in the bottom of the eighth with Harvey still in there. Darwin Barney left off with a half-swing single to center field. Pinch hitter Julio Borbon bunted Barney to second.
David DeJesus singled to medium right field, where ex-Cub Marlon Byrd had gone in after pinch hitting in the seventh. Byrd charged, and his throw home easily beat Barney.
Sveum said third-base coach David Bell no doubt would like the decision back to send Barney. Bell didn't disagree as he came down to meet the media.
"It turned out it wasn't a very close play," Bell said. "Obviously, it's disappointing. It was the wrong decision. I just watched the replay again, and it wasn't close. As a third-base coach, you want to make the right decision, and clearly, that was not the right decision."