Matt Harvey: Mets' Savior or Poor Sucker?
By this time most people have heard of Harvey, even if they haven’t actually seen him pitch. Sports Illustrated and New York Magazine, among others have written recent features on him. At age 24, the kid already has pretty electric stuff. Though he’s bound to have his ups and downs this year as he learns when to throw what in his impressive arsenal of pitches, if this is a work in progress, Harvey is already worth the price of admission. When Dwight Gooden is a fan of yours, tweets about you, and even starts showing up at your games to watch you pitch, you must be pretty damn special.
So, this is kind of a good news/bad news situation. It’s good, actually great, news for the Mets who desperately need one of their young prospects to pan out and help resurrect their beleaguered franchise. No better position for that type of project than pitcher. The bad news is for Harvey. Despite their 9-4 win over the Yankees last night (make that a four-game win streak!) the Mets are offensively challenged. Actually, that’s a huge understatement. Aside from David Wright and Daniel Murphy and (occasionally) Lucas Duda, the rest of the Mets couldn’t hit water if they collectively fell out of a boat. I don’t want to pile on, but even with two hits last night, Ike Davis is the least menacing guy holding a bat since Al Leiter. Anyway, the point is, when you have no hitters you need your ace to throw no-hitters. Not a great formula for success. You need look no further than Harvey’s record. Thus far he’s 5-0 in 11 starts, which means six no-decisions; this despite the fact that he has a 1.85 era and opponents are hitting an anemic, sub-Mendoza .172 against him. With any kind of run support he’d be closing in on 10 wins by now. In short, he’s shaping up as the Felix Hernandez of the East.
So while Harvey’s win totals and eventual legacy may be suffering right now, he’s at least giving the Mets and their fans the hope of a brighter tomorrow. Today the Mets go for an unthought-of sweep of their four-game home and home set with the Yankees. The club seems somewhat revitalized, and that’s in no small part due to Matt Harvey.