ST. LOUIS (AP) — After prized rookie Matt Harvey gave up three runs in the second inning, the New York Mets sensed a teaching moment.
Manager Terry Collins said he and pitching coach Dan Warthen "looked at each other and we said, "'Now, we'll see what we've got here.'"
"I was really impressed with how he went about his job," Collins added.
Only one runner got into scoring position over the last three innings against Harvey in New York's 5-1 loss to Jaime Garcia and the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
It wasn't much consolation for Harvey, the Mets' 2010 first-round draft pick.
"It's my job to go out there and put up zeros and I didn't do that," he said. "I think they recognized I wasn't going in very well and I was missing."
The five-inning stint matched the shortest of eight career starts for the 24-year-old right-hander. Harvey's string of four consecutive quality starts was the Mets' best in a single season by a rookie since Jae Seo had six straight in 2003.
It was one of his final outings, too.
Harvey (3-4) has thrown 157 1-3 innings this season, including 110 for Triple-A Buffalo, and the Mets don't want to overload him.
Collins said "it hasn't been determined" how many more starts Harvey will get, but added: "There's not going to be many more."
Harvey wasn't thinking about that.
"I'm going to prepare for every start and prepare my body for the end of the season," he said. "Whoever makes those decisions when my last start is, that's their call."
The Mets have scored only 16 runs while Harvey has been in the game.
Garcia carried a shutout into the eighth inning and Yadier Molina got his 1,000th career hit with an infield single that started the three-run second.
Daniel Descalso and David Freese had two hits and an RBI apiece for the Cardinals, who are 42-26 at home for the second-best mark in the National League. St. Louis will go for a three-game sweep Wednesday with Adam Wainwright facing 17-game winner R.A. Dickey.