As the sun set over Citi Field Tuesday night, ominous dark purple clouds passed a few miles in the distance behind the rightfield stands. The nasty-looking storm spared Flushing and allowed the Mets and Rockies to start their game on time and finish it without interruption.
The lack of rain was a boon to the Mets, who didn't want to waste a Matt Harvey start or have it shortened by a lengthy delay. Not when he's pitching against the Rockies.
Harvey threw eight shutout innings against his personal patsies and the Mets beat Colorado, 4-0, before 25,611.
Harvey (11-7) allowed four hits, walked none and struck out four. In 23 career innings against the Rockies, Harvey has given up one earned run. His only career complete game and shutout came against Colorado on Aug. 7, 2013.
Harvey has thrown 15 straight scoreless innings overall.
The Mets broke a scoreless tie in the sixth against lefthander Chris Rusin (3-5) when Michael Cuddyer (2-for-4) singled with one out, moved to second one out later on an infield single by Travis d'Arnaud and scored on a base hit to right by Ruben Tejada. The Mets had been 0-for-7 with an intentional walk with runners in scoring position before Tejada's hit.
With Harvey at 97 pitches after eight, manager Terry Collins made the decision to pinch hit for him with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom half. It led to three more runs. At the moment, he can do no wrong.
Pinch hitter Curtis Granderson walked against Boone Logan to force in a run. On Monday, Logan hit Granderson with the bases loaded before allowing a two-run single to Daniel Murphy in the Mets' 4-2 win.
On Tuesday night, Juan Lagares followed with a two-run double to give the Mets a 4-0 cushion. Collins predicted before the game that Lagares would have "a big game because he's got something to prove." Lagares went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles.
Until the sixth, the Mets were peppering the ball all over the yard against the journeyman Rusin, who with his 85-mile-per-hour fastball was auditioning for the role of young Jamie Moyer. But not that young. Rusin, who came in with a 7-13 record in 38 career appearances, is 28.
Many of the Mets' hard-hit balls against Rusin found the back of Rockies gloves. Meanwhile, Harvey allowed three hits over the first six innings, all of the infield variety, all of which could have been converted into outs.
Yes, Harvey had no-hit stuff.
DJ LeMahieu beat out a grounder to third that was just fair in the second. Nolan Arenado was safe when Tejada's throw pulled Murphy off the bag at first in the fourth. Kyle Parker hit a dribbler to third in the fifth on which Juan Uribe tried and failed to make a barehanded play.
Without Lucas Duda (stiff back) and Granderson, Collins unveiled his latest infield/outfield alignment: Uribe, Tejada, Wilmer Flores and Murphy from third to first and Yoenis Cespedes, Lagares and Cuddyer from left to right. It was Cuddyer's first game back from the disabled list after being activated on Monday.
After the Mets took the lead, Harvey gave up his only well-struck hit of the night with one out in the seventh when Ben Paulsen roped a double into the rightfield corner. But LeMahieu lined out to second and Flores was able to double off Paulsen, who misread the ball as a possible base hit.