McDonald: Harvey Is Making Strides Getting Back To The Norm

Going into tonight’s game against the Reds, nothing seemed to be going wrong for this club over the past two weeks.

Let’s see we have a 10-2 record with good starting pitching, home run hitting, and a bullpen that’s showing itself to be pretty solid.

That’s good, right?

But since we like to nitpick a little here, tonight’s start for Matt Harvey was very important in the whole scheme of things.

See, over his first four starts of the season, The Dark Knight proved he’s no Superman, as he pitched to a 1-3 record with a 5.24 ERA. Those are numbers that you expect from what’s going to the mound these days in the Bronx, not from a superstar ace, like No. 33.

So tonight’s six inning, two run, seven hit performance in the eventual 5-2 win, may not have made the record books, but was at least a step in the right direction.

“I was pretty big,” said manager Terry Collins. “His ball came out much better tonight, much cleaner out of his hand. As we have seen in the past, the guys with great stuff are hard to hit. So the foul balls pile up on him.”

Look, most pitchers, even aces have their ups and downs during the season and we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation if Harvey was like this in July when his normal numbers would mask the putrid  performance, but here in April, he wears it like a scarlet letter out there.

So add getting his numbers down to a respectable level to the pile as well and we have some work to do.

“All around getting over five innings is big,” Harvey said. “It definitely has been a problem with me. Looking back in the last couple of starts getting later in the game was not good for me. So going out with a clean inning was good for me.”

Harvey is definitely helped by having three other aces on the staff. If he was the man for the Mets, you know there would be a lot more pressure on him to perform. Yet, his starts are no longer big deals like they were back in 2013 or even last year.

A Happy Harvey Day now means the Mets won the game and not having their bulldog on the mound.

So with him working through things and slowly inching back to his Dark Knight status, Harvey can blend into the fabric of the club.

More importantly though, the Mets are feasting on packs of Phillies, Braves and Reds right now, so if Harvey had to pick a time to forget how to pitch, this is as good as any.

“This is the best he has thrown all year,” Collins said. “We all expect great things from these guys, because when he comes back he’s going to be great. He’s making great strides.”

So there you have it. Almost everything is going right in Metland right now. They are 13-7, one game behind the Nationals and on an 11-2 stretch. Even with injuries to Yoesnis Cespedes and Travis d’Arnaud, the Mets just keep up their winning ways.

And getting Harvey on track will just keep the good times rolling.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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