SAN FRANCISCO -- When Matt Harvey stood in front of his locker following the Mets' 4-3 win in 16 innings Monday night, his tone and body language suggested the right-hander had been rocked by the Giants lineup.
In reality, Harvey lasted seven innings, allowed three runs and handed the ball to a Mets bullpen that held the Giants scoreless in nine innings. While it wasn't the right-hander's finest performance of the season, his disappointment after the start -- he has pitched with a blister on his index finger the past three starts, manager Terry Collins revealed after the game -- shows just how stifling this 24-year-old can be.
"I'm obviously not happy and there's work to be done," said Harvey after a 121-pitch performance, which tied a career high. "The positive was going seven. I think after three innings and 70-something pitches, being able to bounce back was good."
With the game tied in the 16th inning due to stagnant offenses from each dugout, Eric Young Jr. finally provided life for the Mets. He singled to lead off the frame, stole second and advanced to third on a Daniel Murphy groundout. He scored later in the inning when Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford misplayed a ground ball from New York pinch-hitter Anthony Recker. It was the game's first run since Crawford singled home Hunter Pence to snap an 0-for-24 streak in the seventh inning.
"I've never even heard of anything like this," Collins said after the game. The Mets have now played in games that have stretched to 13, 15, 15, 16 and 20 innings in 2013, and the season's barely past the midpoint.
When Mets closer Bobby Parnell recorded the final out for his 16th save, the Giants fell to a season-high eight games under .500 and have the same number of losses as the Mets.
"This is as frustrating a game as we've had," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Prior to the 16th, the Mets' best opportunity to snatch the lead in extra innings came with two outs and runners on second and third in the 11th. Crawford made a diving stop on a Marlon Byrd ground ball and fired to first for the third out to keep the game tied.
The Mets did not threaten much in extras, and the Giants squandered plenty of scoring opportunities -- they finished 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position and are 3-for-their-last-51 in such situations -- in a game that originally featured two strong outings from the starting pitchers.
While all the hype surrounded Harvey entering the game, Tim Lincecum breezed through the first few innings. He kept the Mets hitless through four innings -- the first time he has gone that deep with a no-hitter since August 2011 -- until Byrd singled to lead off the fifth. Two plays later, John Buck doubled him home as the club's first run.
The Mets scored a pair to take the lead in the sixth, due in large part to some defensive blunders by San Francisco. Young initiated the frame with a triple that Andres Torres struggled with in the left-field corner. The next play, Torres slid for a liner off Murphy's bat that went off his thigh and allowed Young to score and Murphy to reach base.
David Wright tapped a slow ground ball to Pablo Sandoval that the third baseman turned to second base, but Murphy beat the throw and advanced to third when second baseman Marco Scutaro threw it away. The Mets pulled ahead, 3-2, when Ike Davis hit into a double play that scored Murphy.
"We just hung in there," Collins said. "You make a play when you have to make a play."
Lincecum struck out 11 for the first time in 13 months and has recorded 31 whiffs and just five walks in his past four starts.
"That definitely was one of the big positives of the game, him looking like his old self," Giants reliever George Kontos said.
Although he subdued the Giants' tepid lineup most of the evening, Harvey could not get the best of Buster Posey. His two-run home run off a 95 mph fastball in the first inning -- the first time Harvey has allowed a long ball in the opening frame -- plated two Giants runs and marked just the second time in 14 games that San Francisco scored in the first. Posey fell a triple short of the cycle in a 5-for-8 performance.
For Harvey, Monday might have marked his final outing of the first half, though not because of the blister. He is scheduled to start Saturday in Pittsburgh, but Collins indicated that he might skip his spot in the rotation, or at the very least use him in an abbreviated outing.