MATT HARVEY, RHP
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Is anybody else beginning to think we might have something really special in Matt Harvey? I think Dwight Gooden put it best, when he said in a tweet that the hurler’s nickname should be Matt “The Real Deal” Harvey. I think that is an awesome nickname, and I hope it sticks. Gooden wasn’t the only one to praise the big righty recently. Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price recently tweeted that “Matt Harvey is my new favorite pitcher outside of current and former teammates!! He’s nasty.”
The 24-year-old made my choice for MMO POTW an easy one, as he had one of the most dominating weeks for a Mets pitcher in recent memory. Harvey fired 15 innings over his two starts, including taking a no-hit bid into the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. Over his 15 innings of work, he mowed down 15 batters, gave up just four hits, and had an ERA of 1.20 with a record of 2-0.
With Harvey dominating his opponents the way he has through his first three starts, here are some interesting stats.
- Harvey is the first Mets pitcher to begin a season allowing no more than one run in any of his first three starts since Al Leiter in 2004.
- According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harvey is the first pitcher in modern major league history (since 1900) to win each of his first three starts of a season, with at least 25 strikeouts and six or fewer hits allowed over those three games.
- Joe D. noted on Saturday, that he is only the third pitcher since the end of World War II to open a season with three straight starts of seven-plus innings and three or fewer hits allowed, joiningNolan Ryan and Jim Rooker as the only other pitchers to perform that feat, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Prior to Gooden’s tweet anointing Harvey “The Real Deal, I had been using the same words to describe his performances, and obviously I wasn’t alone. I even asked a couple of fellow MMO writers if they were getting goose bumps watching this kid pitch as I was. The last time I remember being this excited about a player the Mets brought up, was when Jose Reyes and David Wrightmade their debuts.
It’s been a long time coming for Mets fans to feast their eyes on a pitcher of Matt Harvey‘s potential and skill set. He has shown himself to be a dominating power pitcher, who is not afraid to pitch inside. The kid is a homegrown player who has all the makings of being the next Mets ace, something Mets fans have long been asking for.
The legend of John Buck continues to grow in Flushing, and if it wasn’t for the dominating performance of Harvey, would have been selected for a second consecutive MMO Player Of The Week honor. The Mets backstop has virtually carried the Mets on his back offensively for the first two weeks of the season. The pitchers love throwing to him, the hitters love getting on in front of him and the fans are getting to watch a performance of historic proportions.
Buck batted just .238/.238/.810 during his second week as a Met, but when he made contact, he crushed the ball. The veteran hit a home run in four consecutive games (April 8-12), a feat that had not been done since David Wright did it in 2007. Richard Hidalgo holds the Mets franchise record with a home run in five consecutive games in July of 2004. Buck ended the week with four home runs, drove in 10 runs and scored five, but failed to draw a walk.
As Joe D. pointed out in his post on Saturday, Buck has entered rarefied air with his staggering RBI totals to start the season.
Buck hit six home runs through the first 10 games of the season, which is the second-most in team history behind Dave Kingman‘s seven home runs through 10 games in 1976. He did not hit his sixth home run of the season last year until June 24 (52 games) and did not drive in his 19th run of the season until June 27 (55 games). The veterans six home runs are more than all of the Mets catchers combined during the 2012 season.
Other Noteworthy Players
Murphy had a great week batting .500/.522/.750 with five RBI and five doubles. He seems to have settled nicely into the two hole, and should continue to see good pitches in front of David Wright. The captain had a .286/.348/.476 slash line, with six RBI, two doubles and a triple. It was a nice improvement in the run production department, as he had only had one extra base hit and three RBI during the first week. The Mets have been getting great production from Buck, but they need Wright to start to drive the ball, as he has yet to hit a home run yet this season.
Player Of The Week Scoreboard
T1. John Buck – 1
T1. Matt Harvey – 1