No Dead Arm for Harvey Despite Loss
Matt Harvey felt that he got back to his mechanics on Friday night despite another loss. (chrisswann26:Flickr)
It wasn't a good afternoon for Matt Harvey last weekend when he took the mound in Pittsburgh. He was rocked for seven runs, the most runs he had ever given up in the major leagues, while being chased after just four innings, making it the shortest outing of his still young career.
The talk after the un-Harveyesque performance was that the Dark Knight was suffering from a case of fatigue, or as his manager Terry Collins put it, "dead arm." Collins admitted he made the comments before talking to his pitcher, and Harvey said after the 8-2 loss that his arm and body felt fine. Despite the proclamation from the ace, the Mets' faithful were worried about the righty's health, as evidence by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show's efforts to "protect the moneymaker." So how would Harvey's arm look in his next outing Friday night against the Marlins? Despite another loss, just fine.
Harvey gave up four runs, three on a home run to Miami first baseman Justin Bour, but his arm looked as live as ever. Harvey started the game by striking out the side, setting down five of the first six batters on strikes, and going perfect through the first three innings. He'd find his first trouble in the fourth inning including the Bour homer, but Harvey had his familiar electricity on his way to 11 strikeouts, further dispelling any concerns that he was experiencing the dead arm symptoms that had been talked about.
"I think using that word [dead] is, for people, kind of alarming," said Harvey after the Mets fell Friday night 4-3. "I didn't feel like I was dead, I just kind of got out of my mechanics."
Friday night Collins didn't see any issue with fatigue, proving so by sending Harvey out for the 8th inning despite already throwing 95 pitches in a game that at the time was a 4-2 deficit. Collins said Harvey did seem to be in control much more this time out, with just a couple of mistakes to blame for the loss: the home run to Bour and the Martin Prado RBI single the next inning which would make the Miami lead 4-1 and would end up driving in the winning run.
"He left two pitches out over the plate and they came back to hurt him," said Collins. "You've got to make pitches in big situations. He hung a breaking ball to Bour and another breaking ball later in the game and that was the difference."
Collins wasn't completely disappointed with Harvey's effort however. After seeing how frustrated he had been all week after taking the beating at the hands of the Pirates, Collins expected to see better stuff from Harvey this time out.
"I kind of felt that going into tonight you'd see better stuff, and we did," said Collins. "It's just that he made a couple of mistakes and we weren't able to give him much support but other than that he threw the ball fine.
Harvey, while maintaining his frustration at the loss, admitted that there are positive lessons that can be learned from his recent outings.
"I think getting used to realizing that I missed a whole year and the difference from start to start is obviously new," said Harvey. "Getting used to that again and just trying to stay healthy is the biggest thing."
In terms of the team moving to a 6-man rotation, Harvey simply said, "Whatever they decide, we have to do our job and stay focused." And even though this small "scare" turned out to be much ado about nothing, most Mets fans won't argue with anything that echoes the proclamation Jon Stewart made to Harvey on Thursday when he (only half-jokingly) told him, "You're my future."