“For me, taking time off isn’t going to do anything. It’s finding it on the mound,” Harvey said.
“I’m not a quitter. I’m not going to just quit and put the ball down. It’s a fight. I understand and I know how poorly I’m doing.”
2.2 innings pitched. 6 earned runs on 8 hits. A 5.77 ERA. In a word, ugly. Matt heard it from the boo birds as he exited the mound last Thursday night. This is rock bottom for our former ace. I am not here to tell you that his next start we will see him magically return to Cy Young form, but there will be a turnaround and it will occur sooner rather than later. It is not in his DNA to succumb to failure or even mediocrity.
As I posted recently, Mets Triple-A pitching coach Frank Viola believes in Harvey and points to a confidence issue.
“He’s falling behind guys and throwing a lot of pitches to get through five or six innings,” Viola said Tuesday. “That’s not who he is. That tells me he’s not 100 percent confident in what he’s throwing. And when you’re not pitching with confidence, that affects everything.” ( NY Post)
This was extremely evident on Thursday night. Harvey admitted that he hasn’t felt comfortable on the mound this season. You can see it. He simply looks like a shell of his former self, lacking the swagger that we’ve come to expect from him. But it was very encouraging to see him fight to stay in the rotation and make this start against the Washington Nationals tonight.
All it takes is one start to get that confidence restored. His location has been troublesome, but I would attribute that to his lack of confidence as well. Everyone from Dan Warthen on down say that it’s not a mechanical issue and Harvey has made it clear his arm feels great and he’s perfectly fine physically.
Matt Harvey has not shied away from his shortcomings this season.
“So for me it’s frustrating,” Harvey said after his start in Colorado. ” It wasn’t the ballpark or anything like that. It was me. I’m just not feeling comfortable throwing the baseball right now. It’s frustrating. Something I’ve obviously done my whole life is gone on the mound and thrown a baseball. And right now it’s not an easy task. I’ve got to keep my head down and keep focused and keep pushing to figure it out.” (ESPN New York)
I’m encouraged by how Harvey is taking responsibility and not making excuses. He takes all the blame for his issues which is admirable and points to someone who is trying to get to the root of the problem.
Now is not the time to boo Harvey. Now is the time to support him and remember how he put it all on the line last season, pitching over 200 innings in his first year back from Tommy John surgery. He gave it his all last season, right down to that final start of the 2015 post season.
Harvey gave us hope in 2013 and was the first vital piece in what was the new Mets resurgence. Now it is up to us to give him some hope – and our vocal support.
Overall, it has been tough to watch Matt Harvey struggle the way he has this season. But no one is more disappointed about it than Matt himself. He’s not giving up and in turn, we shouldn’t give up on him. I for one believe that the Dark Knight will rise again, and perhaps tonight we’ll see the first step toward that end.