His first ever MLB start in Arizona went brilliantly. In his second start in San Francisco, he pitched well and deserved a win, but lost. This time against San Diego, Matt Harvey pitched good enough to lose, and did. Now that gravity has taken over, and everyone has their feet on the ground again, if Sunday’s start proves one thing, it’s that the kid is human. And even he will succumb to the most patient of hitters.
He faced twenty-four batters and threw eighty-one pitches in five innings. Control wasn’t necessarily his issue Sunday. Being hittable was. Like the new mantra the Mets have adopted, the Padres are very adept at working deep into counts. San Diego averaged almost four pitchers per at-bat versus Matt Harvey. When you see that many pitches, your team will end up with eight hits in five innings, just like the Padres totaled in the Mets rookie’s third start. He only issued one walk and struck out five batters, but Matt allowed five earned runs, and more glaringly, two home runs.
In 16.1 innings pitched so far, his 1.35 WHIP is a little troubling, as he’s surrendered fifteen hits and seven walks. Based largley on his eleven strikeout performance in his debut, he now has twenty-three strikeouts in three starts.
This coming Friday, Matt Harvey will make his Citi Field debut. No Mets rookie pitcher’s debut has generated this much anticipation and fan-fare since Jason Isringhausen was poised to take the mound as a freshman in his first start at Shea Stadium. And I remember the occassion of Izzy’s first start well. In an oddity of the times, Izzy’s start earned him the entire back page of the next day’s New York Daily News. In 1995-96, Mets fans were salivating at the arrival of Generation-K. This time around, let’s hope things go considerably better for this generation of young Mets hurlers.
Wally Backman had reservations about promoting Matt Harvey at this juncture of his developement. And even though Wally Backman is a complete lunatic, getting himself ejected from games and recieving a recent suspension, the guy freakin’ knows baseball. He strikes me as a Mets version of Billy Martin. So if he says it is so, then I trust the messenger. I watched Wally manage the Brooklyn Cyclones up close for a season, and I’ll trust his judgement on this one.
I’m already record as saying I’m against his call-up, and the call-ups of any of the prospect hurlers the Mets presently have. In Matt Harvey’s case, his was a promotion that came too late to stop the July freefall out of contention. And even though the Mets lost three memebers of their starting rotation to injury to warrant this call-up, their bullpen, and Frank Francisco’s absence, at the time was proving more costlier to the Mets. So indeed, I’m against this on-the-job training. At the same time, I, like most Mets fans am very excited to see him perform in front of the home crowd.