It’s always nerve wrecking when a pitcher comes back from Tommy John surgery, but Mets’ ace Matt Harvey is helping everyone forget all about it.
In just his fourth start of the spring, Harvey managed to vary his pitches by throwing in some curves, sliders and changes without having to reach the high 90s on his fastball.
His ability to change his pitches this soon after surgery should be reassuring for the Mets, but what’s more impressive is the results he’s getting.
On Sunday, Harvey shut down the team he grew up rooting for, the New York Yankees. Over 5 2/3 innings, he gave up no runs on two hits and four strikeouts.
It’s beneficial for Harvey that he doesn’t have to rely on throwing his fastball at a high velocity to get positive results. He was throwing between 93 and 97 mph on Sunday, but it was by choice.
The main area of concern for Harvey coming back this season was his control, which he spent the majority of the game working on. Against the Yankees, he was able to put to rest all that he was questioning.
Mark Teixeira led off the second inning with a base hit and quickly stole second base right after. Harvey was able to regain control and deliver three straight outs stranding Teixeira on second.
Teixeira would be the first and last batter Harvey allowed in scoring position.
It wasn’t just this game that showed the pitcher’s resurgence into the league.
In 14 1/3 innings, he has allowed 11 hits on two runs and 12 strikeouts. His ERA is an outstanding 1.26.
The weak spot that his return would likely benefit the most is his walk total. Harvey has only walked one batter in the 18 he’s faced, a rare occurrence for the Mets rotation that tends to walk too many batters.
The Mets are hopeful their ace can become the pitcher he was before Tommy John surgery. Harvey will be turning 26-years-old this week and is demonstrating the stuff he had in his All-Star rookie season (2013).
Manager Terry Collins said Harvey will not be the Opening Day starter, home or away, but Harvey has said he is OK with that decision.