Mets starter Matt Harvey helped his own cause during his start on Saturday against the Diamondbacks. He put himself in a 2-0 hole after surrendering a two-run home run to David Peralta in the first inning, so he decided to get both runs back with his own stick.
With a runner on first base and two outs in a 2-1 game in the fifth inning, Harvey slugged a first pitch, 93 MPH fastball from Patrick Corbin over the fence in left-center field at Citi Field. Peralta, in left field, immediately waved to signal for a replay review, as a fan had reached over the railing above the fence to catch the ball. However, Harvey’s home run stood upon replay review, giving the right-hander his first career home run.
Harvey is the second Mets pitcher to have gone yard this year, joining Noah Syndergaard. He wound up with the win as well on Saturday, improving to 8-6 with seven innings of two-run ball, allowing five hits and four walks with nine strikeouts.
The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.
Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.
They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.
The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.