If there was any doubt if Matt Harvey was going to make a smooth recovery from Tommy John surgery last year, he has been able to put those concerns to rest through his last few stellar performances on the mound. Harvey is currently on a streak of 15 shutout innings from his last two starts, and he is not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon.
After one of his worst games this season on July 20, when he gave up five runs in seven innings to the Washington Nationals, Harvey has been pitching brilliantly. He has been pitching through seven innings in his last four starts marking the longest streak of his career, and he only allowed three runs throughout those innings.
Harvey has proven that he is able to perform consistently on the mound from the first inning to late in the game. In his last three starts, he has not given up one walk, and in his last six starts he has thrown 35 strikeouts. The twenty-six year old has been so picture-perfect in these last starts that he dropped his ERA to 1.44.
The only issue that the Mets face now with Harvey’s recent performances is deciding when he has reached his innings limit. In his most recent start on Tuesday, Harvey completely shut out Rockies batters for eight innings straight, but was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the eighth after the Mets led only 1-0. Harvey did not leave the mound without speaking his mind, though, as he told manager Terry Collins that he could have gone one more inning. After the game, Collins discussed with Harvey that he was reaching his innings limit, and that the team will most likely use a spot-starter for the rest of this month and hopefully use a six-man rotation with Steven Matz’s return next month.
The Mets do not want to take any chances on shutting Harvey down, or any of their starting pitchers, as they head later into the season. The performances of these pitchers have a large influence on the team making it to the playoffs this season for the first time in 2006. Therefore, even though it may be heard to hold Harvey back now while he is pitching lights out, it will pay off soon enough for the Mets this season.