July 27, 2012
Nothing has been going right for the Mets lately. They had lost 11 of their first 12 games following the All Star break. They had fallen a season worst four games under .500 and were not doing much of anything right. Terry Collins was frustrated with the attitude of the team and said that Thursday the past 12 games were a thing of the past and we would see the Mets of the first half. To try and heal the wound, the Mets called on young pitching phenom Matt Harvey to try and get New York back in the win column. Harvey did just what the Mets needed and more.
Harvey came out Thursday night and absolutely dominated in his Major League debut helping the Mets get a 3-1 win to end the losing skid. Harvey threw five and a third innings of shutout baseball. He had an astounding 11 strikeouts while only giving up three hits. Not only did he put up the superb pitching numbers, he also went two for two with a single and a double. Not bad for his first two at bats in the big leagues coming against All Star pitcher Wade Miley.
Harvey set a Mets franchise record for the most strikeouts in a MLB debut. Yes, more than Tom Seaver in 1967 and Dwight Gooden in 1984. It was a huge boost for a struggling Mets team that needed a spark. Harvey looked very sharp using his off-speed pitches along with a 95 mile an hour fastball that had the Diamondbacks lineup swinging and missing all night. It was one of the more dominant debuts in Mets history from a starting pitcher. It comes at a perfect time as the Mets needed something to get them going. With Johan Santana and Dillon Gee out, they needed someone to fill in and Harvey could be the guy to take Gee’s spot in the rotation for the remainder of the season. Harvey has struggled in the minor leagues with walks. He issued three walks last night. If he can have a little bit better command staying in the strike zone, Harvey can become a big part of the Mets rotation not just this season but in the future. The Mets look at Harvey as a potential ace down the road in this pitching rotation.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thursday night was a bright spot for the Mets and their fans. It was something positive to look upon after all the negativity and losing we have seen post All Star break. With a starting rotation next season that can consist of Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, and possibly Matt Harvey, Mets fans have a reason to smile today as the future ahead looks bright. Pitching is what wins ball games and if Harvey could be a mainstay in the rotation down the road, Terry Collins will have a team next season that will contend and make a run at the playoffs.
The Mets are not giving up just yet on this season as they sit 6.5 games back in the NL Wild Card hunt. The trade deadline looms just four days away. The next couple of games in Arizona will be pivotal for the Mets determining whether this team will be buyers or sellers. If they can string a couple of wins together, GM Sandy Alderson might just be looking to make a move to possibly acquire an arm to help out a bullpen which has been one of the worst in baseball. Alderson may also try and get a right handed bat to help a primarily left handed lineup especially considering the struggles of Jason Bay. Matt Harvey’s start definitely helped in bringing some positivity to a team that desperately needed some.