The days of finding positives in even the worst of outings for Matt Harvey are over and like he said postgame, there are no words to be said.
Harvey’s struggles continued on Monday in Miami as he was pulled from the game two batters into the fifth inning. When all was said and done, he gave up seven earned runs on 12 hits with two walks and two strikeouts, while his ERA ballooned to 6.59.
“There is no reason for questions, there are no answers,” Harvey said. “You are going to write what you want to write anyways, obviously it’s deserved. Whatever you want to write, there is nothing to say.”
After a hitting frenzy in the fifth, Harvey allowed five runs and Terry Collins made an early trip to the mound to send a dejected Harvey to the showers. Tommy Milone came on for cleanup duty and gave up two inherited runs that closed the book on the right-hander.
Hansel Robles allowed three more as it took the Mets four pitchers to get through that fifth inning. By then, the game was already over.
But Harvey, who was handed his sixth loss of a dreadful season, said he wants to gut it out and continue pitching.
“This is my job, this is what I’m supposed to do,” Harvey said. “You have to keep pushing and go back out there and do everything you can to be better. Obviously that is not working, so you have to figure something else out.”
Since coming off the disabled list, Harvey has pitched 14 1/3 innings over four outings, given up 32 hits and has recorded just eight strike outs while yielding seven walks as his ERA sits at an alarming 13.19 over that span.
Mets manager Terry Collins still plans to pitch Harvey and have him work through his struggles.
“In this particular case, when you are coming back from basically a year-and-a-half of injuries, at this particular stage, if it were about wins and losses, he wouldn’t be out there,” Collins said. “Somebody else would be pitching, so it’s a process where we think it’s good for Matt to be out there as he continues to work on getting back into form.”
Harvey, who has one more year of arbitration left before he hits free agency after the 2018 season, has looked like a shell of his former self. His swinging strikeout rate has gone from between 10 and 12 percent to almost six percent, and his fastball speed has decreased over the past two years from almost 96 mph to 94 mph.
The Mets will tender a contract to Harvey for the 2018 season, as Mets general manager recently put to rest any talks of the Mets cutting him loose. The hope is that he can regain his prior form in his contract year before hitting the open market.
The 28-year-old will get two more starts to try and work out his kinks before the offseason because right now, the Mets don’t have many viable replacements to spell him.
“We’ll talk about other options,” Collins added, “but we don’t have a lot.”