One start remains for New York Mets right-hander Matt Harvey after the rookie struck out 10 batters in a 2-0 loss to the Nationals on Wednesday. One more chance for Harvey to prove himself on the mound -- as if that's what the Mets still need him to do.
"I don't think there's any more that I need to see," manager Terry Collins said before Wednesday's game. "There's always room for improvement, as we know. You'd really like to see him have great command of his curveball, locate it wherever he wants to. But he has shown us so much on the mental side -- his determination to be great, his approach to being great, his competitiveness. During the game, he competes."
The Mets plan to shut down Harvey for the season following next week's start against the Phillies. The rookie has thrown more innings this year than ever before in his professional career.
Along the way, Harvey has exceeded every expectation the Mets had for him heading into this season. After dominating at Triple-A Buffalo for most of the summer, Harvey hardly lost a step while transitioning to the big leagues, setting franchise strikeout records to start his career and showcasing an ability to adjust on the fly.
Collins also said that he would have "a tough time thinking" Harvey would not be a member of his 2013 Opening Day rotation. So the Mets do not need to see anything more out of Harvey in 2012, considering how confident they already are in him.
"What we want to see as we look into the future, these are just two starts," Collins said of Harvey's final two outings. "These last two are going to be, 'Hey, continue to grow a little bit.' "
Harvey figures to slot into a 2013 Opening Day rotation that also includes R.A. Dickey, Johan Santana, Jon Niese and Dillon Gee.