“Perhaps we are looking at some of that future here.” – Scotty, Star Trek VI.
The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks in Arizona by a score of 3-1. (Box Score) The win broke New York’s 6-game losing streak, and accounts for only the second victory of the second half. Matt Harvey picked up the win (1-0) in his impressive first appearance in the major leagues.
Harvey set the record for most strikeouts recorded by a Met making his MLB debut. It was also the most strikeouts by any pitcher in his debut since Stephen Strasburg opened his MLB career with 14 Ks in 2010. He also was the first Met since David West in 1988 to collect 2 hits in his first major league game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he was the first player since 1900 to strikeout more than 10, and collect 2 hits.
Like many rookie pitchers, Harvey had the element of surprise. The Diamondbacks had never seen him before. That gave him an advantage.
Not that he didn’t have great stuff. His fastball sat around 94-95 MPH with occasional bursts to 97 and 98. He also tossed a pretty impressive curve ball, though it was inconsistent. What may have been most impressive was his 90-MPH slider. That is hard to hit after seeing his fastball.
Harvey has a compact, effortless delivery. He has what old baseball men would describe as (pardon the expression), “easy gas.” He calmly tosses the ball home at unsafe velocities (apologies to another Star Trek movie).
Harvey missed up in the zone at times, and flat out missed catcher Rob Johnson‘s target at other times, but still managed to baffle Arizona. Imagine how effective he will be once he really learns how to pitch at a major league level.
Kudos have to go to Wally Backman and his staff in Buffalo. They taught him how to pitch, and groomed him for this moment. Backman and company have done a fine job preparing their players for the big leagues in general.
In all, Harvey tossed 5.1 scoreless innings, walking 3 and striking out 11, allowing no runs on 3 hits. He threw 106 pitches, more than he had thrown in any one game all year at Triple-A.
Josh Edgin took the ball in the sixth, and turned in 1.2 impressive innings, giving up no runs, no hits, no walks, while striking out 1. Jon Rauch gave up a run in the 8th, but was bailed out by the embattled Tim Byrdak, who obviously agreed with the signs being relayed from the the dugout this time.
SP Wade Miley (L, 11-6) pitched fairly well for the Diamondbacks, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits in 5.1 innings.
But it was all pitching for the Mets tonight, and it was all about the future. Matt Harvey lived up to his billing, and gave Mets fans a reason to stay tuned throughout the remainder of the 2012 season.
Bobby Parnell (S, 3) came on in the ninth to get the save. It didn’t come easy for Parnell, as he allowed a couple of baserunners, but he ended up nailing it down with a strikeout.
Matt Harvey’s mid-nineties fastball dances – it’s hard to hit. Parnell’s high-90s fastball is hittable. As an observer, I’m not sure why, except that Parnell’s fastball seems to move less than Harvey’s. So Matt garners more swing-and-misses than Bobby.
But Parnell was good enough to get the save for the rookie tonight.
The Mets continue their series with the D-Backs, tomorrow at 9:40 EDT as Jon Niese (7-4) takes on Josh Collmenter (2-2).