Harvey’s command was that good.
“I was very impressed (by his pitch count),’’ Collins said. “If he’s going to pitch 215 innings, he’ll be getting deep into games and pitching to contact.’’
A lot of things will have to click for that to happen, notably his change-up. In today’s 4-1 victory over Miami, most everything did with his change-up being superb.
“Awesome,’’ was how catcher Anthony Recker described it. “He had solid command of everything. He was getting ahead of them. Everything was working well. He was definitely locked in.’’
Harvey threw 48 pitches, 35 for strikes. He struck out five and didn’t allow a hit. The Marlins’ only runner came on an error.
“If I’m going to pitch seven, eight innings, I need to have a decent walks-to-strikeouts ratio,’’ said Harvey, who spent a lot of time before this start studying video of his change-up.
“That was something I was looking at from the video,’’ Harvey said. “I was concentrating on staying back. I threw a lot of good ones.’’
Prior to the start of each inning, Harvey draws a line in the dirt with his foot pointed toward the catcher. He uses it as a guide to prevent from opening up his shoulder too soon and throwing across his body, something he said he did in his last start.
“I’m looking at pitches,’’ pitching coach Dan Warthen said. “What I want to see from him is to get ahead with strike one and locate all his pitches.’’
No doubting that today.
VALDESPIN PATIENT: Jordany Valdespin was robbed of an extra-base hit on a fly ball down the right field line in the first inning. What was impressive about the at-bat was not the near hit, but how Valdespin worked the count full after being behind.
“The more pitches I see, the better,’’ said Valdespin, who started at second base and made a running catch down the right field line on a foul ball.
Collins said Valdespin is showing more disciplined, and noted his third at-bat when he was unhappy with a strike call, but kept his focus and didn’t give away the at-bat.
“He’s getting better at being aggressive, but working the count,’’ Collins said. “He fought off some tough pitches and hit the ball hard.’’
METS NOTEBOOK: Reliever Pedro Feliciano relieved Harvey and finished the fifth. It was his first appearance since his physical was flagged and it was learned he had a heart ailment. … Matt den Dekker homered for the Mets. … Jamie Hoffmann made a homer-robbing catch against the left field wall in the seventh off the bat of Chris Valaika. … Kirk Nieuwenhuis is day-to-day with a bruised left knee. Today he ran in the pool. He’ll do the same tomorrow. … Daniel Murphy hit in the cage. “I felt really good,’’ he said. Tomorrow he’ll take soft toss batting practice. … It’s always run to look at the stats during spring training. For example, Miami pitcher Jacob Turner has a 162.00 ERA in 0.1 innings. … Johan Santana is still mad at the world, refusing to even acknowledge a simple good morning. … Dillon Gee starts tomorrow against Detroit at Lakeland.