Matt Harvey Is the Best New Young Pitcher in Major League Baseball

Gary Ousdahl@@GaryOusdahlCorrespondent IIApril 14, 2013

With two outs in the seventh inning, New York Mets starter Matt Harvey was going for his first no-hitter since high school.

If it wasn't for a great hit on an inside slider by Justin Morneau, perhaps we would be discussing history right now rather than a 404-foot bomb that sailed out of right field. 

Regardless of the fact that Harvey lost his bid at a no-no in his 13th major league start, the pitcher is 3-0 to start the season and is having one of the best starts of any Mets starter since Dwight Gooden's inaugural season in 1984. 

According to a conversation he had with MLB.com's Patrick Donnelly:

After the sixth inning, I sat down in the dugout and I realized it was a possibility. But I knew the seventh was going to be toughest inning for me. It was a slider in. It was a good pitch -- he just put a good swing on it. I think we'd gone in there three or four times with the slider, and you know, looking back we probably should have gone with another changeup or a fastball, but I made a good pitch, and he put a good swing on it.

The Mets have surprised many this season with their 7-4 record, good for second in the National League East behind only the blazing hot Atlanta Braves, who are 10-1 after their win Saturday over fellow divisional rival Washington Nationals.

And so what that Harvey didn't get a no-hitter; he has given the Mets three straight dominant starts this season with a 0.82 ERA, 25 strikeouts, a .088 batting average against and a 0.55 WHIP in 22 innings pitched.

According to manager Terry Collins' conversation with Donnelly:

[Harvey] knows he can compete here. He trusts his stuff. He knows if he makes pitches, he's going to get outs up here. I think that month and a half he spent here last year was a tremendous experience leading into this year. I think he pitches with great confidence up here, and he knows that he's got good enough stuff to get the best hitters in the game out.

Some pretty impressive confidence from a manager whose team finished the season last year with a 74-88 record.

It's safe to say that Harvey has pitched just as good if not better than any pitcher in the majors this year.  His command looks amazing and his pitch selection is impeccable.  Not only that, but Harvey has only allowed six hits and six walks this entire season.

Yes, it's unfortunate that he wasn't able to complete the no-hitter Saturday, but if you're a Mets fan, there's a lot to be excited about for the first time in a long time.

The team is putting up runs, pitching relatively well and looks to be competitive in a league that features the powerful lineups of both the Braves and the Nationals.

Will they be able to keep this up the entire season?

I guess only time will tell.  But the way they are producing right now, the National League East looks to be a very competitive league, and I'm sure there will be some very exciting storylines that develop for the Mets and the entire division as the season goes on.

What do you think?  How will the Mets finish the season this year?


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