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Third-base coach takes blame

Published: Saturday, May 18, 2013 12:09 a.m. CDT
Cubs catcher Welington Castillo kneels on the ground after colliding with first baseman Anthony Rizzo as they tried to catch a pop-up by the New York Mets' Rick Ankiel in foul territory during the ninth inning Friday at Wrigley Field. The Mets won, 3-2. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO – David DeJesus singled sharply to right field in the eighth inning and Darwin Barney sprinted from second base.

Third-base coach David Bell sent him home with the potential tying run.


Marlon Byrd threw on the fly to catcher John Buck, and the ball beat Barney by about 15 feet. Barney didn’t even bother to slide and slowed down as Buck applied the tag, preserving the lead in the New York Mets’ 3-2 win over the Cubs on Friday.

“Turned out it wasn’t a very close play,” Bell said. “It’s disappointing, it was the wrong decision. I just watched the replay again, and it wasn’t close. As a third base coach, you want to make the right decision, and that wasn’t the right decision.”

Edwin Jackson (1-6), coming off a victory May 11 at Washington, gave up three runs and seven hits in 62/3 innings for the Cubs.

“I think it’s just been a mechanical thing, I’ve been feeling pretty good mechanically,” Jackson said. “I’ve been able to go out and get in a rhythm early. Regardless how I feel, regardless how I look, regardless how I pitch, the objective is to come out and win the game. We battled today, but we came up short.”

Matt Harvey, the Mets’ 24-year-old right-hander, got to show off his bat as well as his arm. He won his fifth straight decision, allowing two runs and five hits in 71/3 innings, and singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh after Rick Ankiel’s double.

“This guy is different. He’s not your run-of-the-mill young pitcher,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “This guy has got some savvy. He’s got great confidence.”

Daniel Murphy and David Wright homered for the Mets, who won consecutive games for the first time since May 1 and 3.

Harvey (5-0) won his first four starts of the year, then failed to get a decision in his next four outings.

“I think today, the big thing was the curveball,” Harvey said after his 19th major league start. “I had that working well and was able to throw that for a strike when I needed to.”

Collins said earlier this year he would have hit for Harvey when the pitcher’s spot came up after Ankiel’s seventh-inning double. But with the Mets’ offense struggling, Collins is thinking more about pitching and defense.

Harvey went up to the plate and singled to break a 2-2 tie.

“That was awesome,” Harvey said. “That was huge for me.”

The Cubs took a 2-1 lead in the first with three hits off Harvey, who had allowed just three first-inning hits this year.

Starlin Castro singled, Anthony Rizzo doubled and Alfonso Soriano hit an RBI single to shortstop Ruben Tejada, who ranged behind second and bounced a catchable one-hop throw past first baseman Ike Davis for a throwing error as Rizzo came home.

Nate Schierholtz lined to center, starting a streak in which Harvey retired 20 of 21 batters around Castro’s one-out single in the third.

“All of the sudden, he got it going,” Collins said. “He had such a rough first inning. You worry about it late in the game. Then all the sudden he started cruising. He started getting a feel for it. I tell you, he is a horse, no doubt about it.”

Wright drove a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left in the first inning for his sixth homer. Murphy’s opposite-field home run to left leading off the fourth tied it at 2.

Harvey struck out six and walked none, with his ERA going from 1.45 to 1.55. Scott Rice, Gregg Burke and Bobby Parnell combined for one-hit relief, with Parnell pitching a perfect ninth for his fifth save in seven chances.

“After that first inning, it was kind of the Matt Harvey show,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He’s obviously the real deal.”

NOTES: Sveum would not put a date on the return of RHP Matt Garza to the starting rotation. Garza threw 75 pitches in six innings Thursday for Triple-A Iowa. Garza strained a lat muscle in training camp and has not pitched for the Cubs this season. “He did what we asked him to do,” Sveum said. ... Davis ended an 0-for-24 slide with a sixth-inning single.

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