Going into the 2013 season, there was not a lot of hope for the New York Mets. On offense, the team has third baseman David Wright and the pitching staff was going to rely heavily on Jonathan Niese and Matt Harvey. While Niese has been up and down this season, Harvey shown why he has what it takes to be star for the Mets for the next decade.
During his first five starts to the season, Harvey was 4-0 with an ERA of 1.54 and 39 strikeouts. He also leads the league in batting average against him, only giving up 14 hits with his opponents only batting .122. That is over 50 points ahead of the next pitcher. Harvey has been dominant the first month of the season and that continued against the Miami Marlins on Monday, although the team lost 3-2 in 15 innings.
It wasn’t the same type of dominance, but Harvey was able to keep the damage to a minimum on his way to his second-straight no-decision. It was Harvey’s shortest outing of the season as he went five and one-third innings, giving up one earned run on seven hits and two walks on a 121 pitches.
The number of hits given up tonight were half of the total amount he has given up in his previous five starts. It was his worst performance of the season, but he still only gave up one run. A stronger offense might have taken advantage of Harvey’s struggles, but the Marlins were unable to do so. This was the first game this season that the Mets have lost with Harvey on the mound, but he pitched well enough to put them in contention for the win.
While the Mets’ season looks to be lost already with a depleted bullpen and a now-struggling offense, Harvey gives the fans hope that there is something big on the horizon. He is still has much to prove, but his great start to the 2013 season can’t be overlooked. Already drawing comparisons to greats like Roger Clemens, Harvey has the potential to be the best pitcher in the game.
Harvey is so good that fans make sure they don’t have plans on nights that he is pitching. Early reports show that SNY, the Mets’ broadcast partner, has a 14 percent increase in their ratings when Harvey pitches, bolstered by a 35 percent increase in their 25-54 demographic.
With an electric fastball, nasty curve ball and change-up to go along with his confidence, it’s easy to see why the fans want to go see Harvey. His hot start to the season is no fluke and opposing teams will have to worry about Harvey for years to come.
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