Matt Harvey shines as Mets hold on to top Braves 4-3

Scott Cunningham

When Matt Harvey unleashed his tenth pitch of the game, a legitimate 100 mile per hour fastball on the outside corner to Jason Heyward, it became readily apparent that Atlanta was going to have to play a pretty perfect game of baseball to come out on top.

Unfortunately for the Braves, a rough inning from David Carpenter and a fielding blunder by Chris Johnson were too much for Atlanta's late rally to overcome in a 4-3 loss to the New York Mets Tuesday afternoon at Turner Field.

Harvey was sensational, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Jason Heyward's infield single broke it up. The right-hander struck out a career high 13 batters while recording 22 whiffs in 115 total pitches.

New York gave him an early lead in the third inning with an assist from the aforementioned defensive blunder by Johnson. With runners on first and second with two outs, Marlon Byrd hit a ground ball to Johnson at third base. For some reason, Johnson contemplated going to second base before deciding to go ahead and throw across the diamond to first. That hesitation allowed Byrd to beat the throw and plated the first run on some heads up base-running and a sweet slide by Daniel Murphy to make it 1-0.

Braves left-hander Alex Wood struggled with control in his first career start, walking three while throwing just 38 strikes in 73 pitches before leaving after the third inning. Wood battled a callous on his pitching hand that came open and started to bleed. There was plenty to be pleased about in Wood's start though, as he showed off a fantastic changeup that baffled Mets hitters during his three innings of work.

John Buck made it a 2-0 game with a solo shot to left field off of 26th-man Cory Rasmus in the fourth inning.

The Mets added to that lead in top of the eighth, plating two runs while recording just one hit against David Carpenter. Byrd led off with a single, then an intentional walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for Jordany Valdespin. Carpenter walked him to bring in a run, then Omar Quintanilla hit a sacrifice fly to left to up the advantage to 4-0.

Atlanta finally got things going at the plate in the eighth inning, as a walk and two singles loaded the bases with no outs, which ended Harvey's day. After a Brian McCann strikeout, Jordan Schafer singled to left off of LaTroy Hawkins, plating two runs and making it 4-2. Two batters later, Jason Heyward smoked a double off of Lucas Duda's glove that allowed Andrelton Simmons to come in and score to cut the deficit to 4-3.

However, Chris Johnson struck out with the bases loaded to end the inning and Atlanta's biggest threat.

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