Matt Harvey has arrived. In his first three starts he has pitched marvelously, in tough luck and pretty badly, in that order. It would appear that Harvey is going through all the inconsistencies and vicissitudes that young pitchers not named “Walter Johnson” go through. In his last start, he was cuffed around pretty badly by an offensively-challenged San Diego team, which of course prompted more than a few snarky “Now you’re really a Met, Matt” articles in the local dailies. This is all part of the learning curve. The front office and their various mouthpieces in the MSM warned us that Matt Harvey was not going to be the savior of the season, any more than Tom Seaver was able to save 1967 from being a torpid 61-101 affair.
I know we Met fans – starved for good news of any sort – would love to pin all our hopes on Harvey’s live right arm. The future does look very bright indeed, with Harvey already here and names like Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia and – maybe especially – Zack Wheeler close by on the horizon. A few friends are already going, “A rotation of R.A. Dickey, Jonathon Niese, Harvey, Johan Santana and Wheeler will be pretty strong next year.” Except that you have no idea whatsoever what kind of shape Santana’s arm will be in, if Niese has conquered his own inconsistencies or what you’ll get over a full season from Wheeler or Harvey. Right now, Matt Harvey could have a very strong career, along the lines of modern day top-of-the-rotation guys like Cliff Lee or David Price. He could also have the career of Mike Pelfrey, who has never fully overcome his own issues from the neck down and up.
Let’s face it: putting the fate of an entire National League franchise in the biggest market in the country on the shoulders of 23-year-old just off the bus from Buffalo is a foolhardy enterprise. Matt Harvey is still just a kid. Sandy Koufax didn’t develop his “A” game until his sixth year in the League. Beforehand, his numbers were distinctly Pelfrey-esque. It took Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver a couple of years before they got their kinks worked out.
All I’m sayin’ is, let’s give the kid a break, huh?
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