If Matt Harvey keeps having more days like today he could buy his own jet … even afford to take a helicopter from his Manhattan apartment to Mets’ games.
Harvey had one of those games like in high school, where he struck out nine Arizona Diamondbacks and hit a two-run homer in the Mets’ 4-2 victory.
It was a strong effort in a frustratingly erratic first-half for Harvey.
“For me, flushing the first half and going back out the second half with a fresh start is something I’m looking forward to,’’ Harvey told reporters. “There were ups and downs obviously – after the hot start, more ups and downs than I expected or wanted.’’
Harvey finished the first half with an 8-6 record, but the most important number were his 111.1 innings. He’s on pace for 205 innings, which is more than what GM Sandy Alderson wanted. But, that doesn’t include the playoffs, which is the ultimate goal.
Can you imagine the outcry should the Mets actually make it, but have to shut down Harvey. You think he complains now? That’s why the innings Harvey needlessly pitched in April when the Mets blew chances to rest him can’t be overlooked.
Of course this puts the six-man rotation issue back into the forefront. With Steven Matz down for at least five weeks – don’t forget he’ll have to go on a minor league rehab assignment when he’s cleared – the Mets must decide whether they’ll use Logan Verrett or Dillon Gee for the sixth spot or scrap their innings limitations.
It wasn’t a good start for Harvey, who walked four, but settled into a groove to with his eighth game. It was an effort the Mets have been waiting a long time to see.
Harvey has thrown hard this year coming off Tommy John surgery, but what usually happens in the first season back from the procedure is a lack of command.
That manifests itself not only in walks – nine in his last two starts – but also in home runs allowed.
He gave up a two-run homer to David Peralta in the first inning, but regrouped.
“I really wanted to do everything I could to keep the team within striking distance,’’ Harvey said. “When you look up at the scoreboard and it’s 2-0 and you only faced two batters, the last thing you want to do is keep that rolling. I really just had to buckle down and try to pound the zone as much as possible.’’
Which he did, marvelously so.