Friday, April 05, 2013

N.Y. Mets: Matt Harvey - Time Bandit

From the desk of:   HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

NEW YORK METS - Matt Harvey Wastes No Time.  The Great Ones Never Do.

In a word, Matt Harvey's first start of the season was a gem.  He pitched seven innings, only allowed one hit, walked two, and struck out ten Padres.  Harvey's was the kind of performance that should be affected upon a team of San Diego's caliber.  That he indeed dominated them was reassuring, if not amazin'.

If you remember way back to Matt Harvey's major league debut, which came in Arizona on July 26, 2012, he tossed 5.1 innings, allowed three hits, walked three, and struck out eleven DBacks.  He now has eleven major league starts and 66.1 innings pitched, which translates into six innings per start.  Matt has eighty strikeouts, while only allowing forty-three hits.  He issued twenty-eight walks so far, and sports a "career" 1.070 WHiP.  Since he allowed no runs in Wednesday's start, his ERA dropped to a 2.44 mark.  At twenty-four years of age, that's what Matt Harvey has accomplished in his MLB career so far.

So why does it seem he's done so much more?  It's not like he spent much time in the minors gaining vast experience.  It took almost two months to sign him after being selected seventh overall in the 2010 draft.  Otherwise, he could have commenced his pro career in Brooklyn or Savannah.  As it turned out, he spent 2011 split between Port St. Lucie and Binghamton.  Before his brief call-up last season, he spent the majority of 2012 at AAA-Buffalo.  Harvey only totalled 245.2 innings in two seasons before arriving in Queens.  He joins elite company in that respect.  Tom Seaver pitched one season of minor league ball in 1966, and tossed 210 innings at AAA Jacksonville.  In 1982, Dwight Gooden pitched a season split between Kingsport-rookie, and the A-level New York Penn League.  In 1983, he put in a full season of A-ball, and tossed 191 innings, for a grand total of 269.2 minor league innings pitched.

Matt will be pitching this season with no innings limit or general restrictions.  He is free to ply his craft.  Where he comes off with this much polish is beyond me.  The only thing I can peg is, in just eleven MLB starts, Matt Harvey has additionally exhibited the poise and confidence the two pitchers previously mentioned took to the mound with them very early in their careers.  Harvey certainly makes it seem as if he's been doing this a long time.  He was rather brilliant on an otherwise chilly, and blustery Wednesday night in Citi Field.  And that was just game one.  I can't wait till the warm weather hits.

* Mets Graffiti - Williamsburg

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