PHILADELPHIA -- The Mets know they will not see much more of Matt Harvey this season. So they are making the most of the innings he has left.
Harvey rebounded from a rocky start Wednesday to continue rolling through the National League, leading the Mets to a 3-2 win over the Phillies and their first four-game winning streak since June.
"You guys saw it, this guy's got extraordinary stuff," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Their lineup is good. You've got to make pitches or they can do damage, and he kept the damage down and pitched very well."
Though Harvey struggled early at Citizens Bank Park, giving up four hits, a walk and two runs over his first two innings, the rookie quickly settled down from there. After plunking the leadoff man in the third, Harvey retired seven Phillies in a row and 13 of the final 16 he faced. Operating under the shadow of a strict innings limit, he retired the leadoff man in the seventh and then departed, having thrown 98 pitches.
"I think Harvey's good," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's talented. He has a good arm. He pitched a good game, a very good game. He's got big stuff ... a lot of talent."
The runs against Harvey came on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Howard and an RBI double from Jimmy Rollins, both of which portended a rough night for the rookie. But they were all that Harvey and the bullpen would allow, with a quartet of Mets relievers combining on the final eight outs.
Mets relievers have now fired 14 1/3 scoreless innings over their last six games, despite collectively ranking 30th in the league in ERA.
Their efforts helped to make a tough-luck loser out of Phillies starter Tyler Cloyd. Making his big league debut in place of the ailing Cole Hamels, Cloyd gave up a run-scoring single to Harvey -- his sixth hit and third RBI in 13 at-bats this season -- in the second inning, then a two-run homer to Lucas Duda to give the Mets a lead they would not relinquish.
Playing nearly every day in left field for the Mets since working his way back from the Minors, Duda finished 2-for-4 with a stolen base, also making a fine running catch to take a hit away from Howard in the fifth.
"I just try to play hard every day and help the team win," Duda said. "That's all."
For Harvey, the outing upped his season innings total to 152 1/3, within 15-20 of his prescribed limit. He should only make two or three more starts before the Mets shut him down for the season.
"I'm always going to want the ball," Harvey said. "But I don't make those decisions and can't control that. I can only go out and prepare for each start and do the best that I can."
So far, so good. Called up after dominating Triple-A Buffalo for much of the summer, Harvey has continued to shine during his first seven starts in the Majors. Over his last three outings in particular he has thrived, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA, 23 strikeouts and five walks. His 49 total strikeouts rank third in franchise history over the first seven starts of a pitcher's career, trailing only Dwight Gooden (51) and Nolan Ryan (50).
Harvey has also impressed the Mets with his ability to adjust. The organization knew that Harvey's upper-90s fastball and quality secondary pitches would play in the Majors, but they were not entirely certain how he might respond to adversity.
They could not be more pleased with the results. Collins often lauds Harvey for soaking up knowledge around the clubhouse, asking the right questions and using the answers to his advantage.
"Obviously the numbers have shown that, but at the same time, you never know," Harvey said. "It's baseball. Things can change on a dime, and you've just got to prepare the best you can and go out there and attack on each pitch. That's what I'm trying to do is go out there and limit the damage, do everything I can to help the team win."