The convergence between Matt Harvey's development and the New York Mets need in their starting rotation may have finally happened.
Harvey Makes His Case
Harvey, a 23-year-old lefty, allowed two runs on three hits for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons on July 16, as he tried to make a case to fill a hole in the Mets' rotation for a start July 21 at Citi Field against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Harvey's effort for Buffalo was a mixed bag. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but also walked four, threw a wild pitch and hit a batter.
Showing consistency in the strike zone is obviously key at the MLB level, so falling behind in the count was an obvious concern and one of the major reasons why the start on Saturday may go to Miguel Batista instead of Harvey.
Did Harvey do enough to show he deserves to start for the Mets on July 21? In my view, the answer is "Yes." The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder struck out four, which propelled him to No. 2 in the International League with 106 strikeouts, and he induced a groundout and notched a key strikeout in the sixth inning when the Toledo Mud Hens loaded the bases.
Asked if he thought Harvey would get the ball on Saturday over Batista, Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi said, "I don't know. I've got to call Sandy (Alderson). We'll see. I walk away tonight with a lot of good things, even though he wasn't as good as I've seen him."
Harvey's ability to limit the damage and show calm under pressure is one of the key reasons why he deserves a shot for the Mets right away. His fastball hit 95 mph on several occasions and he got many swings and misses with his changeup.
Batista Isn't In Our Future
Mets fans already know what Miguel Batista is. The 41-year-old journeyman has a 3.98 ERA, mostly in appearances where the Mets are already getting blown out and he's essentially serving as mop-up duty.
Bringing up Harvey would be a little shot in the arm for Mets fans and the team itself. After going nine days without tasting victory, including three-straight losses to the Atlanta Braves, the Mets need a little magic to avoid the wheels coming off on the season.
Harvey can provide that spark. The 23-year-old is 7-4 with a 3.34 ERA this season with Triple-A Buffalo.
"It's not my call," said Harvey on his promotion to the big leagues. "So whenever they decide I'm ready, I guess I'm ready. So, whatever comes my way, I'll take it as it comes. Today, obviously, I wasn't as happy because of so many walks, but I'm just doing everything I can to get myself ready."
Did Matt Harvey do enough to prove he deserves to start for the Mets on July 21? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.