Matt Harvey made for an iconic picture last night. Blood dripping from his nose, he looked more like a football player than a pitcher as he came very close to a perfect game last night for the New York Mets. Harvey was on his way to becoming the first pitcher in the Modern Era to pitch nine innings with at least 12 strikeouts while allowing one hit and no walks while getting a no decision, a bittersweet night as the Mets had to wait until the 10th inning to scratch a run across. Harvey also became the only pitcher in the Modern Era with 125 strikeouts or more while allowing 25 or fewer earned runs in his first 17 starts according to Elias Sport Bureau.
The Mets have seen their fair share of phenom pitchers from Nolan Ryan to Tom Seaver to Dwight Gooden and now Matt Harvey. However, only Harvey has gotten off to arguably the greatest start to his career in the history of modern baseball.
So far this season, Harvey has compiled a 4-0 record, 1.28 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 58 strikeouts and has only allowed 22 hits and seven earned runs in 49.1 innings. He has been absolutely dominant and while it is still early he is certainly the frontrunner for the Cy Young Award.
With Harvey it isn’t really about this season. It isn’t about next season either. It is about the next ten years with Harvey and the Mets. He is the future of the franchise in a way no other pitcher is at the current moment. Not Stephen Strasburg. Not Kris Medlen. Not anyone. Every fifth day Harvey takes the mound and the Mets expect to win.
Mets fans were wary of the hype surrounding Harvey and who can blame them. Many Mets fans still remember the hype and ultimate disappointment that surrounded Jason Isringhausen, Bill Pulsipher and Paul Wilson in the mid-1990s. There has been no disappointment with Harvey, however. If Zach Wheeler is half as good as Harvey has been then the Mets might soon become one of the best rotations in all of Major League Baseball.
Harvey has given the Mets something they haven’t had since Dwight Gooden, an electric, dominant starter. Sure, R.A. Dickey had a great year but Harvey is still only 24-years-old and the future is as bright as the sun. The Mets need to take advantage of that and start to smartly build a team around Harvey’s right arm. Certain pieces are in place but GM Sandy Alderson needs to fill out the rest of the roster as quickly as possible. One thing is certain, it isn’t only Mets fans that are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for the Mets’ ace.