Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Everyone Else

Tonight's game was one of those games that I didn't have a chance to see until very late, and by time I'd tuned in, the damage had already been done. I didn't need to know what had gone on through the first 7 1/2 innings to know that the Mets right now can basically be boiled down to one sentence:

There's Matt Harvey, and then there's Everyone Else.

I didn't need to see anything to know that Jeremy Hefner wasn't very good, because Jeremy Hefner isn't very good. The White Sox threw out more or less the same lineup on Wednesday that they did on Tuesday, only substituting sage veteran Paul Konerko for walking strikeout Adam Dunn. Tuesday night, this lineup was completely overmatched by Matt Harvey. Wednesday, they lit Jeremy Hefner ablaze. Now, I don't know the White Sox very well, but I'd have to imagine that they're not as good as they looked against Hefner, and they're probably not as bad as they looked against Harvey. This, then, is a pretty good example of the kind of difference a starting pitcher can make, and just how much better Matt Harvey is than pretty much everyone else around him.

Offensively, the Mets appeared to do about as much tonight as they did last night. Yes, they somehow managed to score more runs tonight than on Tuesday, but on Tuesday, they made their 1 run count as the game winner. Wednesday, they scored 3 runs, 2 of which came in garbage time after the game was long out of reach. You might think that this debunks my theory, since the Mets don't seem to provide much run support for any of their starting pitchers these days, but, in reality, it just supports this particular thesis even further, because when Matt Harvey pitches, they can look like schmucks all night, score only 1 run and win the game. When everyone else pitches, they can look like schmucks.

No matter how bad they may look, and no matter how inept they can be offensively, Matt Harvey makes this team better. Even if they haven't backed him with much run support, they've won 6 of his 7 starts, and the only one they lost was the 15-inning shit show in Miami. Mike Francesa opened his show today talking about how watching Harvey on Tuesday night was like watching Tom Seaver in 1969. I wasn't alive in 1969 and I have a very vague memory of Doc in '85. But I know what I'm seeing in Matt Harvey 2013. He makes the Mets look better just by stepping out on the pitcher's mound. It's rare that a player can inspire that sort of confidence.

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