Tuesday, March 6, 2012

First Impression: Matt Harvey

Last night's game versus the Nationals was a lot of things for Mets fans. It ended a five month drought without Mets baseball, it provided a brief distraction from the Wilpon courtroom drama and most importantly, gave everyone their first real glimpse of top prospect, Matt Harvey.

The outcome of the game itself wasn't important, but what took place over the course of the third and fourth inning was. Harvey took the mound for the first time against opposing major league hitters, on national television. How did he do? I'd give him a B- overall.

On the surface, Harvey pitched two scoreless innings and didn't allow a hit. When diving a little deeper, he walked three batters and struggled mightily with his command. That's the good and the bad of it. Despite his struggles, he deserves credit for having the ability to wade through the jams he created for himself and escape the innings unscathed. However, even that doesn't change the fact that he's not ready..yet.

This, his first outing with the big league team, essentially sealed the notion that he'll require some more time at the minor league level to work on several things. His off-speed pitch was fairly wild in particular, but his command in general needs to be reeled in. Furthermore, and this is admittedly critical, Harvey seemed a hair heavy, which could cause concern with regards to his stamina over a 162 game season.

All of that included, the fact remains that his first appearance should be considered a positive one. He pitched under the lights on national television and pitched well enough that he didn't force his manager to rescue him in the interest of sparing his confidence. The experience he'll gather over the next few weeks will be valuable, but the fine tuning he'll do in the months that follow those will be imperative. Matt Harvey will pitch for the New York Mets at some point this summer. Now its only a matter of when...

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