A 20-minute rain delay — and likely a 6-0 lead — put an early end to Matt Harvey's day in Philadelphia, but it was the only thing to give him a problem yesterday.

The Mets cruised to an 8-0 victory to win back-to-back series against NL East rivals.


Harvey was brilliant over six shutout innings before the rain came. He allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out six on 72 pitches.

The 24-year-old Mets ace might have been able to come back after the brief delay, but a 6-0 lead meant the Mets had no reason to push it. Marlon Byrd gave the team an early 1-0 lead on a first-inning sacrifice fly, but it was Harvey himself who busted it open in the fifth. He started a parade of three straight doubles which scored three runs.

The top four batters in the lineup — Eric Young Jr., Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Byrd — were a combined 10-for-19 with five RBIs on the day. Wright was especially lethal, finishing 4-for-5 with a home run and two doubles.

Harvey improved to 7-1 with a 2.05 ERA. LaTroy Hawkins and Brandon Lyon, who have struggled as of late, pitched three scoreless out of the bullpen to close things out after the delay.

Zack Wheeler, fresh off his MLB debut last week, will oppose another of the top young pitchers in baseball, Chris Sale, tomorrow (8:10 p.m., SNY) at the White Sox.