The New York Mets have had a second half to the season that has gone oh so wrong, but rookie pitcher Matt Harvey has been oh so right.
Harvey delivered another promising performance against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night, going five-plus innings, allowing one earned run and 10 strikeouts in a 2-0 loss.
On a night where his curveball failed and the Mets offense floundered again, Harvey dazzled with his 98 mph heater, prompting compliments from Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.
"That kid's going to be really good, one of those big, power pitchers...he's got a bright future," Zimmerman said via ESPNNewYork.com.
Harvey is proof that record is not a good indicator of how well a pitcher is actually doing. Sure, he is now 3-5 in his major league career, but his 2.92 ERA and the fact that opponents are batting .216 against him go to show that he is indeed the real deal.
Harvey has one more start next week before he is shut down for the 2012 season. No matter what happens, Harvey has established himself as an integral part of the New York Mets moving forward.
Remember when the Mets were hesitant about bringing Harvey up to the big leagues, and they were worried that he was not ready to make the transition? It seems laughable now, but Mets manager Terry Collins showed serious concern. That is no longer the case.
“I tell you, he’s been so impressive,” Collins said (per The Star-Ledger). “We got something special. We got something really special. It’s been very, very fun to be around him. To watch him work, to be around him and watch him get ready."
One hole in Harvey's game is depth. He needs to work deeper into games and be more economical with his pitches. The good thing is, Harvey already knows that.
"The biggest thing is going deeper into games and figuring it out a lot sooner, and not pressing to go for the strikeout all the time," said Harvey (via ESPNNewYork.com). "I have to get early contact, like I've said before. That's the biggest thing I'm going to work on."
Harvey's body of work and attitude are reason enough to get anyone excited for 2013 and beyond. Mets fans have often been given the short end of the stick, but Harvey offers hope.
Harvey gives fans something to look forward to even when there is not a lot to be optimistic about. He allows fans to envision a future where the Mets are contending season after season, not fighting to stay out of the basement in the National League East.
Now, with everything that Harvey has accomplished, expectations will be through the roof. It will be easy to forget that he is just going to be 24 years old next season, but Harvey already has proved doubters wrong.
For the Mets' sake, hopefully that trend continues.
This is still only the infant stage of the New York Mets making a turnaround, but Harvey makes a good place to start.