The Mets host the Nationals this weekend and baseball eyes are turning toward Citi Field. Friday’s series opener features Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey, two of the most exciting young arms in the major leagues.
Harvey’s name should be familiar by now, with 10 big-league starts under his belt before 2013 got underway. If you didn’t hear about him in 2012, you probably have by now.
2013 pitching line
|Strasburg: 3 GS, 18.1 IP, 2.95 ERA, 7.4 Kp9, 2.5 Bbp9, 8.5 Hp9, 1 W, 2 L|
|Harvey: 3 GS, 22.0 IP, 0.82 ERA, 10.2 Kp9, 2.5 Bbp9, 2.5 Hp9, 3 W, 0 L|
Pitcher wins and losses are listed only as a curiosity but they are part of the Harvey Hype. Less of a curiosity and conspicuously listed at the end would be hits per 9 innings. A reasonable estimate is both pitchers finishing somewhere in the 7-to-8 range. Strasburg could see fewer hits, and there’s no way Harvey will see so few. Along with that goes the microscopic ERA.
What could be touted as a Cy Young showdown will be a great game to watch, hype or not. Frankly, the quality of stuff on display is worthy of hype. So let’s take a look at Mr. Harvey and the rest of his teammates on the Mets pitching staff.
Again, contrasting to Strasburg. Both throw fastballs, change-ups and curveballs. They each throw a two-seam sinker, but Harvey rarely uses it. Harvey also has a slider that happens to be a plus pitch.
Harvey’s slider is interesting; he can add or subtract, making it more of a cutter than a slider at times. It’s a power slider all the time. Enjoy watching him work, even though it may be against your favorite team. Be sure to keep an eye on his delivery. He’s throwing hard (see below) but it looks easy and he finishes in fielding position. Here are some highlights from his last start, when he took a no-hitter deep into the game.
The Mets have some other pitchers, too. The Nats will miss both of their left-handed starters but will see a couple out of the bullpen. Bobby Parnell is the Mets’ closer, picking up two of the club’s three save opportunities (converting one). Harvey has the best stuff on the team, Parnell included. Josh Edgin is impressive with mid-90s velocity from the left side.