Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Friend Harvey!

After the Mets looked so lifeless on Wednesday, to the point where I couldn't even be inspired to blog about the game, with no getaway day game for me to listen to on the radio this afternoon, I figured the Mets were probably sunk.

But, Matt Harvey took the mound tonight and provided not only a bit of salvation in Cincinnati, but also another tantalizing glimpse of the future of the Mets starting rotation.

Harvey's strong outing—4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and 8 strikeouts in 7.2 innings and only 89 pitches—against a Cincinnati Reds lineup that has been mostly beating everyone's brains in (even with their best hitter, Joey Votto, on the shelf) was the kind of outing that everyone, even Harvey himself, should be well pleased with. After his sterling first start, Harvey had been good, if hittable, in his following three starts, which is to be expected out of a young pitcher. He's going to take his lumps, he's going to get lit up like a damn Christmas tree sometimes, but his demeanor—excellent for a young pitcher—has stayed the same. Go out there, make your pitches, get the outs, get the job done, get the victory. And anything less is a failure.

Sometimes, this sort of pressure, particularly when you play under the New York microscope, can wear down a pitcher early in his career (Pitchers such as Ian Kennedy, who would find succeess after leaving New York, come to mind). I don't see that happening to Harvey. He appears to be the kind of pitcher that would make Crash Davis proud. Harvey's mental makeup seems to be mostly unflappable on the mound, mixed with an impassioned aversion to losing that would rival the likes of, say, Keith Hernandez or Tom Seaver. Those are lofty comparisons over a career's standpoint, and of course Harvey is just getting started. But through 5 starts, you have to be pleased with what you've seen out of him, and even when the results haven't been in his favor, you certainly have to be impressed with the way he's handled himself off the field. He appeared to be mostly cheerful after the game, and with good reason. I have a feeling that we'll be seeing that Matt Harvey more often than not over the years to come.

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