In a lost season for the New York Mets, the team may have found its future ace.
In his final start of 2012, Matt Harvey fired seven innings of one-hit, one-run baseball against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, September 19 at Citi Field. After allowing a lead-off home run to Jimmy Rollins to start the game, the hard-throwing youngster allowing only three walks and struck out seven. Unfortunately, in typical Mets fashion, the bullpen denied him the victory.
"I wish we could have gotten a win for him," manager Terry Collins told Mets.com. "But Matt Harvey ought to spend the winter feeling pretty good about himself."
Ryan Howard blasted a two-out, two-run home run off lefty Josh Edgin in the ninth inning to win the game for the Phillies, 3-2, and send New York to its eighth straight home loss. Moreover, the Mets have lost 24 of their last 28 games at Citi Field, where they have scratched out three or fewer runs in a team-record 15 straight games. So it may not have shocked the few die-hard fans in attendance last night when Howard went deep, but Harvey's first season in the Big Leagues was a pleasant surprise.
Harvey, widely considered the Mets' second-best pitching prospect, was as good as advertised this season. The team's first-round pick in 2010, he finished his first year in the majors with a record of 4-5 and a 2.73 earned run average. I thought his 70 strikeouts in 59.1 innings were reminiscent of a fire-balling rookie named Dwight Gooden, who revitalized the franchise in the mid-1980s. Sure, he has a long way to go before he's on Gooden's level, but like Gooden did back then, Harvey gives Mets fans hope. Unfortunately, they'll to wait until next season to see him on the mound again.
"Being up here for the first time and getting to see how everyone plays the game every day, it's been the biggest excitement for me," said Harvey, who reached his innings limit for the year set by the organization. "I'm going to miss it."
I'm going to miss seeing him pitch, until next season.
Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter who grew up in Queens, N.Y. with a view of Shea Stadium from his bedroom window. He spent many nights in the upper deck at Shea rooting for the Mets. Adam follows back Mets fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.