When Matt Harvey was called up from Triple-A Buffalo to make his first MLB start against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the expectations were mixed. Here was what everyone thought a major league ready starting pitcher who had a wicked fastball and decent slider that showed its’ up and downs through the minor leagues. What the New York Mets found, however, was that this may no longer be considered the number two pitching prospect in their system.
That is not to take anything away from Zack Wheeler, who I believe will be the ace of the staff in 2014, but Harvey has shown that he has “it”. By that, I mean the focus and drive to make everyone understand that once he is called up to the Mets, he will never go back down to the minors, barring rehab assignments. In spring training, Harvey told manager Terry Collins that he was here to make the club, although Collins repeatedly told him there was no chance. Now, after ten starts, the organization and the fans can be witness to the fact that he will undoubtedly be part of this staff going forward.
Fast-forward now to this evening and Harvey’s send-off to the offseason. Against the Philadelphia Phillies, the young pitcher allowed 1H, 1R, 3BB and struck out seven over 7 innings. Harvey allowed a solo HR to Jimmy Rollins and that only seemed to tick him off as he took over from there. Forget about the wins and losses. If you look at Harvey’s statistics you will find a pitcher that has 70 SO, and only 18 ER in 59.1 innings with a 1.15 WHIP and a 2.73 ERA. That right there is impressive for a rookie that most thought would take another year to develop his command of those wicked pitches in his arsenal.
Understand this, Mets fans. Harvey is here to stay, and you can sense it in his glare and the way he carries himself. He wants to win. He wants that ball every fifth day, no matter what. And on that fifth day, he will give the Mets every chance to win the game. Wheeler will come around and may even be called up next year after the All-Star Break in order to ease into the majors. But for now, it is all about this 97MPH fast-baller that seems to just understand what it is that he can accomplish.
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