Matt Harvey is back and the Dark Knight is rising for the Mets. In his first start of 2018, Harvey threw five scoreless innings recording five strikeouts and allowing just one hit and one walk. He recorded the no decision as the game was tied at 0 when he exited.
Harvey bursted onto the scene in 2012 when he made 10 starts for the Mets, going 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA, recording 70 strikeouts in 59 innings. He followed that up with an all-star season going 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA, .931 WHIP, and struck out 191 hitters over 178 innings, which was good enough to finish 4th in Cy Young voting. Harvey missed all of 2014 due to Tommy John surgery, but came back solid in 2015, winning 13 games in 29 starts with a 2.71 ERA.
Then shit hit the fan for Harvey as he started getting shelled. He didn’t have the velo on his pitches anymore, and his breaking pitches were not crisp. This led to two forgettable seasons for Harvey. In 2016, Harvey was 4-10 with a 4.86 ERA and just 76 punch outs over 92 innings. His WHIP went up to 1.468, which was just not even a thought for someone of his caliber. And then it got worse in 2017. Harvey finished the 2017 season 5-7 with a 6.70 ERA with a WHIP that climbed to 1.694 and just tallied 67 strikeout through 92 innings.
Coming into 2018, Harvey had a solid spring. I know spring training stats don’t matter, but it’s good to see someone like Harvey get into a rhythm coming into the season. And in his first start he was very effective. The Mets love to see this because all of their starting pitchers are healthy and looking to contribute at a high level. If Harvey can give them outings like this after the likes of Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, the Mets rotation will be looking great. The Mets’ other young starter, Steven Matz didn’t find as much success as the other three in his first start of the season, allowing three runs over just four innings, but still not a bad outing.
Matt Harvey looked great in his first start and he will be crucial to the Mets success in the NL East throughout the season. He doesn’t need to return to his all-star season to be a difference maker for the club, but outings like this will be much appreciated by that organization. It’s looking promising that his troubles on the mound are in the past.