This week’s spotlight is on the ace of the New York Mets, Matt Harvey. After seeing Harvey work his craft in person, without question, the right-hander is on that elite level rivaled by few. To this point, in just 43 career starts, Harvey has established himself as one of the premier pitchers in the game right now. His starts have become must-see events, he has taken the big bad city of New York by storm, and he truly is the “Dark Knight.”
Harvey is projected to make two starts this week. In his last start against the Chicago Cubs, Harvey cruised through seven innings allowing just five base runners and zero runs. With a pitch count at 100 exactly, he was surprisingly removed for the eighth inning. On cue, the Cubs came back to tie and ultimately win that game leaving Harvey with a very impressive no decision. But what makes Harvey a cut above, is that it appeared as if the move was done positively, and there was no real second guessing or issues with it after the fact.
While it is still early on in the season, and weather has not been ideal in many parts of the country, the Mets have really done a nice job in controlling Harvey’s work load after missing all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. In his seven starts, the most pitches Harvey has thrown is 107. Yet, in that same breath, Harvey has not really needed many more bullets than that as those 107 pitches got him through 8.2 innings of work. The 26-year old has been as about as efficient as they come in 2015. In 46.2 innings, he has a 47:7 strikeout to walk ratio. To give the Mets credit, they have done a better job at handling Matt Harvey in his return, than did the Washington Nationals in a similar situation with Stephen Strasburg.
When Harvey is on the mound, it almost looks as if he is bored out there. He is so dialed in and consistent with his form and mechanics that he throws every pitch seemingly effortlessly. When Harvey is on, all of his pitches get to the plate with fluid motion and lively action on them. In trying to find a comparison, Harvey’s makeup looks like that of a refined Roger Clemens. Say what you want about Clemens, but when he took the ball he wanted to be the guy to absolutely shut down the opposition. Harvey is cut from that same mold.
It may only be May but Harvey just may be the guy to dethrone Clayton Kershaw‘s NL Cy Young reign. He is a bulldog on the mound and he goes about his business with a special kind of intensity. When he takes the mound in New York, the atmosphere is electric with the fans behind every pitch. On the road, he is also becoming one of those guys that you will pay to see as a visiting player.
As a fellow colleague says, “Harvey is an old school type of pitcher and a throwback to an era of baseball that no longer exists.” Matt Harvey will continue to be in the spotlight to see if he can continue his dominant ways every time he takes the ball. With each start, the Dark Knight certainly has the attention of everyone while he is out there.