Matt Harvey's arm has caught up to him. International League hitters have not.
The Mets' No. 2 prospect set down the first 14 batters of the game and finished with seven two-hit innings as Triple-A Buffalo blanked Louisville, 8-0, on Friday.
Harvey carried a perfect game into the fifth inning before Paul Janish singled with two outs to break it up. The 2010 first-rounder finished with nine strikeouts and faced three over the minimum.
He ran into a little trouble in the seventh, walking Cody Puckett with one out and surrendering a single to Willie Harris, but got Janish to hit into a 5-4-3 double play on his 94th pitch of the night.
"I was pretty much staying with Rob Johnson the whole time," Harvey said. "He's a tremendous catcher, it just seems like whatever he put down was working. I give all the credit to him and the defense.
"I was just able to throw strikes. I made a good pitch, it just so happened that it hit a hole. That's baseball, you're going to make good pitches sometimes and a guy will put a good swing on it. A few inches and Brad Emaus has the ball. That's baseball."
Harvey (7-3) has come on strong this month, going 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA in six June starts. International League batters are hitting just .228 against him and he's fanned 40 batters in 33 innings for the Bisons.
"I'm really working on staying back and trusting my stuff and letting it go," Harvey said. "I'm just mechanically, staying on the rubber a little longer, letting my arm catch up and creating a downward angle. Early in the season, I was jumping out towards the hitter and that obviously wasn't working. We went back to the basics and making sure everything was nice and smooth on the rubber."
Harvey, who declared this his best start at Triple-A, was recently named to the International League All-Star team. The 23-year-old right-hander hasn't taken that likely.
"Being my first year in Triple-A, having the privilege of being selected in High A last year and this year in Triple-A, it's a huge honor for me, especially to represent Buffalo," Harvey said. "The game is here and I'm really excited."
Josh Rodriguez was 4-for-5 with three runs scored and finished a triple shy of the cycle while Matt den Dekker, the Mets' No. 15 prospect, slugged a solo homer. Emaus plated three runs for the Bisons.
Elvin Ramirez allowed a hit and struck out a batter in a scoreless eighth and Pedro Beato fanned two in a perfect ninth to finish off the game.