Baseball first for Harvey, so batters beware
July, 21, 2013
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com
AP Photo/Kathy WillensMatt Harvey got some help Sunday from Juan Lagares -- and Men's Journal.NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey described himself as "embarrassed" by the portrayal of his social life in a recent Men's Journal article. Terry Collins said it sent Harvey to the mound angry and eager to demonstrate he's about baseball and nothing else.
Well, Harvey is plenty good without extra motivation.
So you don't want to face him with a chip on his shoulder.
Harvey limited the Phillies to three hits and a hit batter while striking out 10 in seven scoreless innings as the Mets beat Philadelphia 5-0 in Sunday's rubber game at Citi Field.
"I think Matt was on a little bit of a mission today to silence all the other stuff that's going on and let everybody know he's here to pitch and he's here to play baseball," Collins said. "I think today he went out there with a little anger. ...
"This guy believes in himself. He's got great confidence. I think some of the stuff that has come out, he was not happy with the way it showed up. And these guys have pride. They're not just carefree, 'I don't care what people think.' I don't think anybody is ever like that. I know he was concerned what his teammates were thinking. Certainly they all know he works hard and when he's on the mound he's all business.
"I think today was a perfect example of, 'Hey, look, I'm going to go out there and we're going to go back to talking pitching and nothing else.'"
Said Harvey: "Obviously the articles have been written, and this is going to be it for me talking about it. But I read the articles and obviously was embarrassed by them. The way I was portrayed is not who I am and not the person that I am. I've learned from it. I've learned a lot of things, and kind of learned the hard way."
Meanwhile, in four of Harvey's six double-digit strikeout performances this season he also has not issued a walk. He has issued just 28 walks in 137 innings this season.
"I came into spring training and the biggest thing was going deep into a game and trying not to give up free passes," Harvey said. "That was something I worked on really hard this offseason and really wanted to control. Fortunately enough, the walks are way down and I've had those good, quality starts."
Harvey now has produced 10 starts this season in which he tossed seven-plus innings while allowing one run or fewer, which is tied with Clayton Kershaw for the most in the majors.
Harvey's six double-digit strikeout performances are tied with Yu Darvish for the most in MLB. Entering Sunday, no other NL pitcher had more than three.
"He's pitched some good games," Collins said. "That might be the best stuff I've seen him have. He got a couple of changeups up in the zone they got a couple of hits on. I saw the way he threw in the first inning and I thought hopefully he can hang onto it, because I thought he was going to strike out 15 guys the way he looked in the first."
Said Harvey: "The rest obviously showed to help. I could kind of tell in the bullpen that everything was nice and fresh."