Lost among all the hubbub about suspensions and lost love and Kevin Plawecki’s locker is that Matt Harvey is still recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. I don’t say this to give Matt Harvey a pass, I only say it as a reminder to those that need it that athletic performance isn’t only affected by whatever is in the 24-hour news cycle. Without looking, I can only assume that the narrative about Harvey’s brutal first start back against the Milwaukee Brewers is about Harvey’s mindset (shudder) about missing time and lateness and his teammates.
However let’s remember: Harvey is still beset by the same problems that have plagued him before Adriana Lima went to the Met Gala with Julian Edelman. The consistent zip on the fastball has deserted him, along with the command, and he still can’t get anybody out past 100 pitches. Hell, we were all talking about that when Matt Harvey was more this:
From scowl to puppy dog, the looks at the numbers are still the same. Harvey’s opponent’s numbers go from .247/.683 to .342/.813 (That’s AVG/OPS) career wise. That’s stark, and those numbers were even more stark when Harvey was good. So when Terry Collins left Harvey in to start the sixth inning at 97 pitches, it was a recipe for disaster. Not that Collins can be blamed all that much. If Harvey gets lifted after five innings in a 2-2 tie, then Collins is murdering the bullpen. Besides, with 7-8-9 in the order coming up, what’s the worst that could happen?
And these weren’t wall scrapers. Those were rocket launches by Eric Sogard and pinch hitter Oswaldo Arcia. Batman wouldn’t let himself get beat by Ten Eyed Man, but that was the equivalent of what happened tonight as Harvey had issues throwing him strikes in the second inning, and by the sixth inning we knew why. Perhaps the sixth inning would have been kinder to Harvey had he not wasted so many pitches on Sogard and barely off the interstate Jonathan Villar in the second inning which featured three walks and 39 pitches overall. Of Harvey’s 106 pitches, only 59 were strikes. Thus, you have your game recap, save for the too little too late two run tease in the ninth before dropping the opener to the Milwaukee Brewers.
The sixth inning was the end result of the first five mediocre innings. Perhaps it’s the end result of years of wear and tear, playing a little too hard, and emotions in glass cases. The Dark Knight would never lose to Ten Eyed Man in the comics. But this is real life. Nobody has surgery in the comic books. Superheroes are flawed.
Well, except for Tim Tebow.
Today’s Hate List
- Eric Sogard
- Oswaldo Arcia
- Jett Bandy
- Hernan Perez
- Wait, his name is Jett?