Matt Harvey has had a rough 2017 both on and off the field. After being suspended three games for not showing up for work on May 6, Harvey had a chance to put it all in the past with a solid start against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 12. That did not happen as he went five innings and gave up seven hits, five walks, three home runs, and five runs.
On Wednesday, Harvey was presented with another opportunity to win over the Mets front office and fans. After losing six games in a row, the Mets were in desperate need of a win.
“The critical part is getting Matt Harvey back, make no mistake about it,’’ Collins said after the Mets lost on Tuesday according to the New York Post. “That’s the most important thing. If we come out of [Wednesday’s] game and we are excited about what we see out of Matt Harvey, we’ll take it.’’
After being provided with a two-run lead in the top of the first, Harvey struggled from the get-go in the bottom of the inning as he gave up a triple, RBI groundout, walk, and ground-rule double to start off the game. He was able to limit the damage to only one run, but his pitch count was extremely high to start off the game which immediately put him behind the eight ball.
Harvey coughed up the lead in the third after giving up a two-run homer to Jake Lamb. That was Harvey’s 11th home run allowed this season. That is more in 45.1 innings this season than he gave up in 59.1 innings in 2012, 178.1 innings in 2013, and 92.2 innings in 2016.
Harvey did settle down after the home run as he retired nine of the next 13 batters he faced. He finished the afternoon with 5.1 innings pitched, five strikeouts, and six hits, four walks, one home run, and three runs allowed.
“Obviously if I could go back and change a couple pitches, I would,” Harvey said after the game, focusing on a mechanical tweak he made between starts. “But overall, I felt much better today, and probably the best I’ve felt in two years. It’s definitely a positive.”
Overall this was Harvey’s best start since April 21 against the Washington Nationals. However, it goes to show what kind of pitcher Harvey has become in 2017. Harvey used to be viewed as the Mets ace; the guy you wanted on the mound to end a six-game skid. He has now become a pitcher who arguably may not be starting if Seth Lugo, Steven Matz, and Noah Syndergaard were all healthy and pitching like they usually pitch.
Right now the Mets still have a couple of weeks before Lugo and Matz are healthy enough to be activated from the disabled list. Barring any trades or call-ups, they will have to rely on Harvey who currently carries a 2-3 record, 5.56 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, and a 2.2 HR/9 after 45.1 innings and eight starts in 2017.