By Hal McCoy
It was a dark night against The Dark Knight and it is always a dark night against the New York Mets for the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds lost to the Mets for the 11th straight time Wednesday night in Citi Field, 5-2, as New York completed its three-game sweep.
Matt Harvey, known as The Dark Knight, is not off to a good start and brought a 1-and-3 record and a 5.24 earned run average into the game.
But Harvey held the Reds to two runs and seven hits over six innings, pitching his way out of a couple of jams while walking only one and striking out seven.
CINCINNATI STARTER JON Moscot was in constant trouble, too, but held the Mets to three runs and four hits over five innings, although four walks kept his work in constant turmoil.
Did somebody mention walks?
Well, walks eventually led to the Mets putting the game away against the Reds bullpen in the sixth.
Blake Wood walked two straight batters with one out. When David Wright lined hard to center field for the second out, manager Bryan Price replaced Wood with Drew Hayes.
And the first hitter Hayes faced, Michael Conforto, lined a double up the left-center gap for two runs, turning a 3-2 lead into 5-2.
REDS PITCHERS WALKED six on this night and in 22 games they have walked 102 batters.
Zack Cozart started things off on the plus side by leading off the game with a home run against Harvey. And Ivan DeJesus singled. Then Harvey struck out the next five batters.
The 1-0 Reds lead lasted only until the Mets batted in the bottom of the first and scored two unearned runs off Moscot.
THE METS HAD TWO on and two out in the first when Lucas Duda hit one to left center. Left fielder Scott Schebler had it tracked and stuck up his glove to make the catch. The ball glanced off his glove and two runs scored.
The Reds had the bases loaded with one out in the third, but Harvey struck out Eugenio Suarez and Devin Mesoraco hit a soft liner to second base.
New York second baseman Neil Walker, fast becoming The Incredible Hulk, hit a home run in the third inning — his ninth of the year and his eighth in the last 12 games — and the Mets led, 3-1.
Three of the first four Reds singled in the fifth inning, with a Suarez single scoring a run to cut the deficit to 3-2. But with runners on first and third with one out, Devin Mesoraco hit into a first-pitch double play and the perplexed Reds catcher is hitting .140.
THEN CAME THE two-run Mets sixth and the Reds went away quietly in the final three innings. The last nine Reds went out in order, five via strikeouts. And the Reds struck out 12 times. And in the last four innings, the Mets bullpen retired 14 straight.
The Reds take a much-needed day off Thursday before starting a three-game weekend series in Pittsburgh.