Matt Harvey has an admirer in Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
“Just watching him on TV, he’s impressive,” Girardi said of Harvey prior to the start of the Subway Series. Harvey will start today’s game against the Yankees at Citi Field.
The right-hander is 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 70 innings this season. Dating back to last July, when he was called up from Triple-A, Harvey is 8-5 in 20 starts with a 2.30 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 129 1/3 innings.
“I actually watched his first start [a 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks in Arizona on July 26, 2012],” Girardi said. “I called my buddy — he’s a Mets fan — and I told him ‘You have something to be excited about.’ This kid’s got a great arm. He’s been impressive all year long. I’ve seen some of his games on TV. We’ll get a chance to see him in person.”
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Girardi admitted he has dual purposes for watching Harvey’s starts.
“The first time I watched [him] was because I [am] a fan of the game and have interest in New York baseball since I live here,” Girardi said. “Now I watch games because I [knew] we were playing them fairly quickly. Usually teams we’re going to play, I try to tune into those games if I can.”
Mets like Ike ... again
Could one base hit salvage Ike Davis’ season?
Davis’s two-run single in the bottom of the eighth Sunday night was the difference in the Mets’ 4-2 win over the Braves. Davis recorded two hits and a walk in four at-bats, and raised his batting average to .158.
“I think the one at-bat was huge,” manager Terry Collins said. “But the four at-bats was what I was impressed with. Much quieter in the batters’ box. Head, a lot less movement than he’s had in weeks. A whole different approach as far as body language, and he was relaxed for some reason.
“I just thought his whole approach was better. Certainly if there was a time for somebody to get a hit, last night was it.”
No longer shiny?
Has the Subway Series, now in its 17th year, lost its luster?
Not according to Girardi.
“I enjoy the series,” Girardi said. “It’s great for the city; it’s fun for the players. [It is] something different and obviously there’s emotion in it. Probably the game I remember the most was [the Yankees’ 9-8 win over the Mets at Yankee Stadium on June 12, 2009 when then-Mets second baseman Luis Castillo dropped Alex Rodriguez’s two-out, bottom of the ninth popup, and Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira scored the tying and winning runs]. ... It was a crazy night but I enjoyed it.”
Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.