Usually, the spring training games at home are televised. That varies from team to team … some teams televise less home games while a team like the Red Sox will actually televise select road games. The Mets are usually right down the middle. The home games are on SNY or WPIX fairly consistently. So it was weird that Friday’s game against Houston, the home portion of their split squad day, wasn’t on television anywhere.
It’s just as well. It would have been problematic to explain why a Tim Tebow stalker was in all of those camera shots of the back fields where minor leaguers were running drills. It only means that I’ll have to steal this assessment of Matt Harvey from Friday’s loss to the Astros from the Daily News:
According to two scouts at the game Friday, Harvey’s fastball sat at around 92-93 mph and topped out at 94 for the second straight start. Collins said that the Mets’ internal data showed Harvey’s fastball was up “a click or two.”
While he clearly didn’t have the same zip to the fastball as he did in his 2013 All-Star season, Harvey did look more like himself on Friday against the Astros.
He fought with fastball command, but his breaking balls were sharper and he was more efficient as he got through three innings. Harvey allowed one run, a Reid Brignac homer to right field, on two hits. He walked one and struck out two, throwing 41 pitches, 24 for strikes.
So there you have it.
But one game that featured a Mets pitcher which was on television was Seth Lugo’s amazeballs outing for Puerto Rico against Venezuela on Friday night. Lugo pitched five and a third innings for Puerto Rico and only gave up an infield hit to Miguel Cabrera. The amazing part of the evening was that Lugo’s curveball of doom wasn’t even a factor, as Lugo couldn’t get a good feel for the pitch and relied on his other pitches, primarily his sinker and his changeup. (Bartolo Colon even contacted the MLB Network booth to brag about Lugo’s changeup. He needs one more pitch to turn plus this season to sustain last season’s success, and he got all of them to work at high altitude against Cabrera, Jose Altuve, Carlos Gonzalez, and the rest of Venezuela’s stacked lineup. I will continue to remind myself that this is only March. But damn.