Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Harvey pitches, hits way to 3-2 victory over Cubs

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Edwin Jackson was a long-term investment for the Cubs, who made the veteran righthander their signature off-season free agent signing.
The return on the four-year, $54 million investment is coming slowly despite another loss Friday to the New York Mets and their shining ace Matt Harvey (5-0).
``He threw a great ball game,'' manager Dale Sveum said of Jackson, who fell to 1-6 after the 3-2 loss at Wrigley Field. ``He threw strikes and did a good job. That's pretty much two well-pitched games in a row.''
Jackson won the last one, an 8-2 decision over Washington and the Nationals' young ace Stephen Strasburg.
But as well as Jackson pitched Friday, giving up solo home runs to David Wright (6th) in the first and Daniel Murphy (3rd) in the fourth, it was Harvey's bat that ended up hurting as much as his pitching.
Harvey was the last man Jackson would face, singling with two out in the seventh and Rick Ankiel at second after a double.
``It was a fastball that came back over the plate,'' Jackson said of the pitch to Harvey, whom manager Terry Collins didn't lift for a pinch hitter. ``Once someone has a bat in their hands, they're dangerous.''
Harvey is more dangerous on the mound, one of only five pitchers in Mets history to allow three or fewer runs in 16 consecutive starts. The last was two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, whose streak reached 21 games. Another Cy Young winner, Dwight Gooden, holds the franchise record of 24 games.
``We got two runs in the first inning and after that it was all his,'' said Alfonso Soriano, who singled in Starlin Castro in the first with Anthony Rizzo following on an errant throw home. ``He has very good command with everything he throws. Credit to him.''
Soriano fielded Harvey's single and tried to throw out Ankiel, but the bad throw allowed Harvey to reach second and was one of two more errors by the Cubs. Neither cost a run, the other coming in the ninth when Rizzo and catcher Welington Castillo collided and dropped a foul ball.
But an error of sorts did cost the Cubs a chance to tie the score in the eighth when third base coach David Bell sent Darwin Barney home trying to score from second on David DeJesus' single to right with one out off reliever Scott Rice.
Ex-Cub Marlon Byrd, who had come in as a pinch hitter and stayed to play right, threw out Barney easily at home.
``It was the wrong decision,'' said Bell, whose baseball family dates to grandfather Gus and dad Buddy, now vice president of player development with the White Sox. ``As a third base coach, you want to make the right decision and clearly that wasn't.''
Sveum, a former third base coach himself, talked to Bell after the game, but the manager admitted this was a game Harvey controlled.
``After the first inning, it was the Matt Harvey Show,'' he said. ``He's obviously the real deal, a lot of poise and velocity--and then the game winning hit.''
Jackson had something to show for the game, if not a victory but a season-high 6 2/3 innings and a third quality start.
``I've made some adjustments, mechanical things, and getting into a rhythm early,'' he said.
``Jackson pitched a good game,'' Soriano said. ``I'm sorry he got the loss.''

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This page contains a single entry by Toni Ginnetti published on May 17, 2013 5:32 PM.

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