After an impressive performance in Cincy, where he struck out 8 while only giving up 4 hits and walking 1, 23 year old Matt Harvey is giving Mets fans a reason to believe for next season.
In 5 starts this season Harvey has struck out 34 but has also walked 13, giving him a K/BB ratio of 2.64. That ratio isn’t good, but is also something you can forgive, given that he’s only 23 years old and getting his first taste of the major leagues. An interesting stat from ESPN (by way of the 06010 Fantasy Baseball Podcast), is that Matt Harvey and Steven Strasburg are the only 23 year old starters averaging over 10ks per 9. So if/when Harvey can get the walks under control, we can all get our excitement up to nearly ridiculous levels.
After an out-of-nowhere first half of the season which gave many fans, myself included, delusions of grandeur, the post-All-Star break Mets have brought expectations crashing back down to reality. Unlike the movies, the team picked to finish last, generally, won’t be able to outplay their competition all season and win the championship. At least not in baseball. 162 games is a long time and eventually statistics and talent will win out.
However, if the performance of R.A. Dickey this season has been the ray of sunshine for the Mets than, Matt Harvey is the planted seed that we are nurturing. The front office moves, or rather non-moves, around the All-Star break and trade deadlines showed an organizational focus towards the future. Rather than renting mediocre players or aging veterans for a season or even 2 years Sandy Alderson and staff decided to play out with what they have – an okay, but by no means really good team. That move gives manager Terry Collins the opportunity to play young players so that he and the organization can evaluate them going forward, without putting addition pressure of a playoff push on them. Would we all rather be contending for the playoffs, sure. But you don’t turn a team around overnight and given the team’s recent history it was obvious that that the Mets needed someone to reset the course.
Despite the horrendous record after the break, Mets fans need to step back and look at this season compared to what was being said of the team coming out of spring training. They were supposed to horrible, wire to wire. Never contend, never be exciting, be an absolutely lost cause. Citi Field was going to be known more as a location for a short line at Shake Shack than it was for baseball in 2012. And what did we get instead?
- The team’s first ever no-hitter
- R.A. Dickey throwing back to back 1 hitters (while striking out double digits)
- Jordanny Valedespin becoming a closer’s worst nightmare
- Daniel Murphy not being a complete defensive liability at second base
- Jon Niese has become a very good pitcher
- Ike Davis not having any severe or lingering medical issues as a result of his valley fever
- Rueben Tejada proving that life goes on after Jose Reyes
- and Matt Harvey, showing a glimpse of things that can be in the future
When you look at it way, even compared to the horrendous bullpen, Johan Santanna’s post no-hitter trouble’s, Mike Pelfrey’s lost season, Dillon Gee’s injury, and Ike Davis forgetting how to hit – it’s still not that bad of a season.
It could have been much worse.