After climbing through the New York Mets’ minor league system, the 24-year-old pitching prodigy, Matt Harvey, has emerged from the smoke and all the hype surrounding him to produce a string of brilliant performances this season, turning heads inside opposing dugouts.
Harvey made his major league debut last summer, and had 10 starts over the rest of the season, notching 70 strikeouts—a little preview of things to come. Before the start of the 2013 season, Harvey worked on his curveball and changeup, and the improvement in his secondary pitches coupled with his blazing fastball has made him more lethal.
Harvey has made a seamless transition in his second season, stifling batter after batter, striking out most players, and shutting teams out…well, for the most part.
Harvey’s talent is evident by what he’s done this season. The pitcher still remains undefeated (4-0); he leads the National League in strikeouts (58) and is second in the NL with a 1.28 ERA over seven outings. He has allowed only 22 hits through 49 innings, and has 58 strikeouts and 12 walks. A few weeks ago, Harvey pitched a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings and, on Tuesday, almost pitched a perfect game against the Chicago White Sox.
Matt Harvey’s career is still very young, so there will be plenty of chances for the pitcher to add his name to the list of no-hitters for the Mets franchise. With every start, Harvey has that chance to make history, just as long as he can stay healthy.
Now, I know one game doesn’t really prove anything and it’s a small sample size, but, let’s look at the damage he did on Tuesday against the White Sox—another excellent start for the pitcher. Through nine innings, Harvey had 12 strikeouts, allowed only one hit, and had no runs or walks.
Via Brooks Baseball, here’s a plot of the Harvey’s pitches against the White Sox:
As shown above, the pitcher barely missed the strike zone, showing how effective he is.
On a Mets team that really doesn’t give much hope to its fans, it can at least give them Matt Harvey. His potential is off the charts: He throws in the upper-90s for strikes, he has an effective curveball and a great slider. He doesn’t buckle under pressure and can keep his focus.
Yes, it’s too early to anoint him as the Mets’ savior, but when you watch the 24-year-old pitch, it’s hard not to think that it actually is possible.
But, for now, let’s just sit back and enjoy the show.