New York Mets rookie right-hander Matt Harvey made another lasting impression in his last start of the 2012 season. Too bad that Harvey dazzled, and Mets faltered yet again as the Phillies spoiled his exit in a 3-2 victory Wednesday night.
Harvey made one mistake—a leadoff home run to Jimmy Rollins gave the Phillies an early lead. After that, he made it look easy as he once again proved that he was more than ready to make an imprint at the big league level.
Harvey did not allow another hit or run in his seven innings of work with seven strikeouts.
The story of the second half of the season and one of the few bright spots left on a beleaguered team finished his season at 3-5. The record does not do any justice because Harvey pitched far better than that.
After Harvey's outing against Philadelphia, his ERA went down to 2.73 and tossed 70 strikeouts in just 59.1 innings.
“He’s accomplished much more than we had hoped," Mets manager Terry Collins said (per NY Daily News). "He’s gotten the opportunity to come up here and certainly prove that he belongs here.”
An encouraging sign of big things to come was that Harvey was able to reach back he pump up his heater when he needed it the most.
After throwing his fastball at around 93 to 94 mph for most of the game, he was able to bring it up to 96 to 98 while striking out his final two batters on the season. (h/t MLB.com)
What more is there for Harvey to prove? The answer is nothing. The Mets have him already set into their plans next season and hopefully well beyond into the future. Good thing Harvey is not letting that disrupt his focus.
Nothing is ever guaranteed until you have a huge contract, so I am going to prepare just as normal for the offseason as I would any other offseason, said Harvey. There’s a lot of things I have to work on. I have to go out and be able to last longer in games, fewer pitches. Something I am going to work on this offseason is pounding the zone. (via New York Post)
Yes, Harvey has issues with command and efficiency but those setbacks pale in comparison to everything he has accomplished. There is no doubt those areas will be worked on and improvements will be made.
What is discouraging is that the Mets have not helped Harvey in most of his 10 starts this season, including Wednesday night.
The Mets cannot rely on Harvey to be electric every time he takes the mound.
He still needs run support and when he gives the bullpen a lead, they have to hold in for him. If that trend continues next season and beyond, there could be a disgruntled young pitcher in the Mets future.
That is not reason for concern now.
"I wish we could have gotten a win for him," Collins said. "But Matt Harvey ought to spend the winter feeling pretty good about himself." (via MLB.com)
Yes, he should. Harvey, along with the Mets and fans should feel good because now there is overwhelming optimism. They have a young, proven starting pitcher who is transforming into a star.
Harvey is a star that has shined bright in 2012, and he does not look like he is about to dim anytime soon.