Let’s call it like we see it. Matt Harvey is no longer the ace of the Mets pitching staff.
He is certainly the biggest personality and has that alpha-male mentality, but results are results and they just are not there.
Going into his start on Sunday in San Diego, Harvey is 2-4 this season with a 4.76 ERA. He has not been dominant and we are left looking for answers or excuses depending on how you look at it as to why his performance has not met expectations. Throw in the comments by Harvey’s agent Scott Boras last week to the NY Post, where he talked about ‘unknowns’ due to his development after Tommy John surgery, but also stressed that last season was about team and does not lay any fault at the feet of the Mets organization.
So, what should we expect from Harvey moving forward when his turn in the rotation comes up?
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It used to be a celebration. Mets fans would look forward to Harvey Day, like they looked forward to Christmas or Thanksgiving or July 4th. Why? Because it meant a win or a dominant pitching performance. It also meant confidence.
That is what has defined Harvey during his Mets career, confidence. He made you believe that his start was something to see and meant something special was happening. He helped to define the Mets and really became the Face of the Mets organization, no offense to David Wright intended.
I have to be honest with you, I expect next to nothing when he goes to the mound right now. I have no idea what that “unknown’ is that Scott Boras is talking about. I don’t expect excitement or dominance, I expect more average to below-average.
Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard have been brilliant. Hell, even Bartolo Colon provided a brilliant moment with his homerun in San Diego. What I expect from Harvey is drama and excuses. If he is better than that, I will be surprised, pleasantly surprised, but surprised nonetheless.
Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen has talked about Harvey ‘pressing’ and was trying to throw to hard or his back leg was collapsing and he was not throwing downhill and driving the baseball toward home plate. So, Warthen has provided his litany of excuses. After his last start Harvey said, “At this point, there are a lot of questions and a lot of answers I’m looking for.” Terry Collins echoed those sentiments by saying he had no answers and if he did than he would fix them. Harvey discussed his frustration and said it was back to work.
I don’t have the answers either, but I do know this, Harvey is not Harvey. I am not sure if it has anything to do with the workload from a year ago. I am not sure if it has anything to do with his surgery from a few years back now. What I do know, is that he does not bring the same confidence to the mound that he once did and that is clear as day.
He no longer possesses that ‘it’ factor that separated him from anyone else on that pitching staff. Now, with great performances and dominant starts come confidence and when you are searching for answers and working on your mechanics, it is hard to be ‘cocky.’ So Harvey, does have a lot to work on both physically and mentally and when ‘Harvey Day’ rolls around, just think of it as any other day.
Facts are facts and performance is performance and that is what that day deserves.