Spring Training came and went for the New York Mets, and Matt Harvey appeared primed to duplicate his 2013 campaign after missing all of last season with Tommy John surgery.
His slider, fastball and changeup looked 2013 caliber, and the “Dark Knight” backed his performance at the beginning of the season with some big words.
That was the storyline over the first few weeks of the regular season, in which Harvey recorded a 4-0 record and a low-3 ERA. Perhaps these numbers aren’t Cy Young Award worthy, however, they were better than the 7+ earned run average Harvey has posted in his past 4 starts.
The numbers certainly don’t lie, but the obvious question is why?
- Hitters aren’t surprised by his fastball
- Slider is not as good as in 2013, not hitting 89-92 MPH
- Secondary pitches not bouncing
- Overly reliant on his curveball
- Pitching pattern is too predictable
- Lack of run support
- He’s flustered
- Shaky defense behind him
- Too many mental errors
- Throwing too many 0-2 meatballs
The last idea is the most prominent, that Harvey has struggled immensely when handed an 0-2 count. Even Jim Breuer ranted about the Dark Knight’s inability to throw outside of the strike zone (although due to multiple reasons I couldn’t display the video).
Maybe he’s pitching through injury, or maybe he’s just not making good decisions. Whatever the case, he should be informed that Major League hitters can hit fastballs.
The Dark Knight has to stop buying into the hype and just pitch.