Despite surrendering four runs in his first Spring outing, the New York Mets can take several positives away from Matt Harvey’s first start.
Matt Harvey gave up four runs in 1.2 innings during his first spring training start. Therefore, it’s evident that the baseball apocalypse is upon us. Harvey is too often injured and won’t ever be the same dominating force he once was. The New York Mets might as well punt the 2017 season now.
Now, take a deep breath, and relax. The end isn’t actually near, and Matt Harvey is going to be just fine. He saw his first action in about eight months and left the game having put in his work for the day. His 2016 didn’t go as planned and his first Spring Training start was rocky. However, those aren’t grounds for justifying any legitimate causes for concern just yet.
Yes, Harvey needs to show he’s still the pitcher that can dominate a game on a consistent basis, but let’s calm down before worrying about his first Spring outing.
Harvey, who almost skipped Sunday’s start due to neck pain, talked about the importance of seeing live action and commanding his secondary pitches after the game.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 5, 2017
Injuries have plagued the right hander’s career, but there were several positives to take away from his outing against St. Louis on Sunday. For starters, Harvey pitched pain-free (with the exception of a mildly sore neck) for the first time since last summer. The live game action was the first step towards a return to a big league diamond.
Secondly, Harvey was clocked topping out a 94 miles per hour on the radar gun. That’s not bad for a guy who hasn’t pitched in a while. As the Spring turns to Summer, Harvey is likely to regain strength and see his fastball maintain the velocity he’s accustomed to.
“The fastball velo is going to come. It’s only a matter of time.” Harvey
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) March 5, 2017
His secondary pitches featured good movement and he was able to locate them on numerous occasions. Although he allowed four earned runs, he did record three strikeouts, a positive sign that he missed bats despite an ugly stat line.
Pitchers will often throw differently in the Spring than they would in the regular season. Scouting reports aren’t as crucial and greater importance is based on executing the pitches within a starter’s repertoire. Regaining strength, feel and location trump end results when it comes to Spring games.
Harvey’s first start, statistically, didn’t go well. However, he showed he’s healthy, has command of his pitches and can build on a small first step towards consistency over a six month season.
The road to staff ace won’t be an easy one, and the soon to be 28 year old has already endured his fare share of adversity. Given time, there’s plenty of reason to believe the Dark Knight will rise again.