(Photos by US Presswire, Collage by Joe D.)
If you’re the kind of baseball fan that still loves a good old-fashioned pitching duel like thrill of a Tom Seaver vs. Steve Carlton matchup, then tonight’s contest between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets will be right up your alley.
As I said last week, every time Matt Harvey steps onto a mound it is must-see TV, but tonight’s contest comes with the added thrill of a marquee matchup as Stephen Strasburg squares off against Matt Harvey in what promises to be a pitchers duel like no other at Citi Field.
Strasburg, who is 1-2 with a 2.95 ERA and 15 strikeouts this season over 18.1 innings of work, may very well be the underdog in this contest – and no, that’s not the Met fan in me saying that.
His mound opponent, Mets phenom Matt Harvey, takes the hill with a 3-0 record and a 0.82 ERA while striking out 25 over 22.0 innings pitched this season. He is the clear favorite.
Both starters are former first-round picks. The Nationals selected Strasburg with their first overall pick in the 2009 Draft, while the Mets selected Harvey a year later with the seventh overall pick in the 2010 Draft.
Harvey, fresh off of being named the NL Player of the Week, has been nothing short of phenomenal this season so far this season. One of the most mind boggling statistics that pops out at you is that he’s allowed just six hits in his 22 innings of work. Let the enormity of that sink in.
In his last start against the Minnesota Twins, Harvey took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and got the first two outs before being tagged by a Justin Morneau home run. Whenever he takes the hill something special happens and on that night in particular, Harvey was electric.
Mets manager Terry Collins says Harvey will be armed and dangerous for tonight’s contest and gets amped up for moments like these.
“What we saw on the mound, his demeanor and everything else has changed. I know he’ll be ready, because he’s facing one of the best teams in the game.’’
“He loves the big stage, and that’s what he’s on,’’ Collins said yesterday. “He’s got a big challenge and if you look at some of the games he’s had to pitch, they have been against some pretty impressive guys, and he’s getting another one.’’
I’ve been waiting all week for tonight’s game.
I’ve had no problem calling Matt Harvey the best player to come out of the Mets draft since Dwight Gooden. Barring injuries, by the time his stellar career is over, Harvey may end up being the best Mets draft selection ever.
The Mets right-hander in no longer just a Mets sensation, he is now a baseball sensation and a national treasure.
All eyes will be watching baseball’s signature event tonight. Matt Harvey is now Prime Time He really is The Real Deal.