A thinner Matt Harvey toed the rubber for the Mets in Game 1 of their double dip with the Houston Astros on Saturday, but the results were similar to before he went on the shelf.
Regardless, the 28-year-old assured that he will experience success before the season ends.
“The biggest thing for me is to stay tall and let my body and arm do the work instead of trying to do so much with my lower half,” said Harvey, who attributed part of his struggles to a mechanical issue during the game. “I don’t feel like I’m far away at all.”
Despite Harvey’s assurance that his bullpen sessions and long tosses are coming through effortlessly, he looked a shell of his former self on the hill Saturday, throwing flat pitches with little to no velocity.
In the first inning, Harvey surrendered four runs and labored through a ton of pitches before recording so much as an out.
The right-hander plunked the first batter he faced and allowed back-to-back singles that plated a run before getting Josh Reddick to fly out. Even then, the drubbing wasn’t over.
Harvey retired the following two batters, but was smacked all over the field yet again in the second.
Jose Altuve and Reddick singled, and a pair of wild pitches gave the Astros a seven spot and chased Harvey from the game after the inning.
“I want to see that nice easy motion that Matt Harvey’s been known for,” Collins said before the game. “That free arm swing, arm speed. That’s what I’m looking for. I’m not looking for, worried about 96, 97 (MPH). I’m worried about that nice delivery that we saw for so long. Four years ago, we talked about how this guy his mechanics were so pure. His command enabled him to command all his pitches.”
But the results weren’t what Collins expected as Harvey is just as big of a question mark now as he was before he hit the disabled list nearly three months ago.
“There is not one doubt in my mind, with health, mechanics will come and so will success,” Harvey said.
In fairness to the veteran starter, it will take several more outings to get a feel for where he’s at. He tossed just over 11 innings in rehab outings, which is not nearly enough to get someone back in the swing of things.
The Mets and its fans won’t know what they have with Harvey until 2018. Until then, it will ultimately more outings such as this one as he tries to figure himself out.