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?

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley

6 comments on “It’s A Tough Job, But Mets’ Fans Need To Temper Expectations Of Matt Harvey

  • Peter Hyatt

    Great article. In 1967, Tom Seaver had some rough outings. We need to keep things in perspective. He is a good pitcher and great pitchers learn from their mistakes.

  • Mike Koehler

    Lets see how the rotation pans out for the rest of the season and spring training. We may need someone like Young, or even Pelfrey, to come back if someone gets hurt or doesn’t pan out.

    I can’t imagine the bullpen being as bad in 2013 as it was in the first half of 2012, but what if the team limited the bullpen’s impact. Just some food for thought, but a six-man rotation could focus on the team’s strengths, let starters throw innings in games rather than bullpen sessions and keep pressure off Harvey and Wheeler(when he comes up). Hell, if one of the six goes down, cut the rotation back to five and depth is suddenly not a problem.

    • Name

      Hell No. I dont want to see Mike Pelfrey back in a Met uniform. He’s given us enough headaches already. Plus, they should be able to get a veteren cheap starter this winter.

      I say no the 6-man rotation. You don’t want to mess with guys like Dickey and Santana who are used to their regular 4 days rest. It’s better to do 5 and leave one down at Triple-A.

  • steevy

    Alderson is really starting to anger me.

    Mets Won’t Eat Jason Bay’s Contract
    By Zach Links [August 7, 2012 at 5:40pm CST]
    After announcing that Jason Bay will be a platoon player for the Mets, General Manager Sandy Alderson says that he won’t absorb the final season of the veteran’s contract. The Mets allegedly discussed a change of scenery deal with the Marlins for Bay but the Mets aren’t looking to part ways with the outfielder.

    “Certainly, there are times when it is appropriate to eat a contract,” Alderson told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York. “There are other times when it is not. Jason Bay is not going anywhere, nor is his contract.”

    • Charlie Hangley

      Rule #1 with the Mets: never — EVER — believe the first thing Sandy says on a given subject. Trust me, this is NOT graven in stone, steevy.

      • steevy

        I hope you are right,I really do.

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