Hartnett: Mets’ Flamethrower Harvey Dazzles In Debut
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By Sean Hartnett
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On Thursday, the Mets headed west to Arizona carrying a six-game losing streak on their backs, but found an oasis in the desert.
Mets fans demanded the call-up of esteemed prospect Matt Harvey, who delivered on his promise in his major league debut at Chase Field.
The 23-year-old dialed it up, throwing 98 mile per hour heat — striking out 11 batters in 5.1 innings pitched. Harvey proceeded to dazzle Mets fans by sending down the heart of Diamondbacks’ lineup with his electric stuff.
He surpassed Tom Seaver’s 1967 debut record of 8 strikeouts, breaking the Mets’ all-time debut strikeout record previously held by Seaver and Bill Denehy. Harvey stepped into the Mets’ rotation and immediately looked the part of a big league flamethrower.
In a season that is rapidly coming apart at the seams, Harvey has given Mets fans something to shout about by offering glimpse of the future.
Once Harvey is able to master control of his blazing fastball and 89 mile per hour slider, he’ll be able to give the Mets stronger, deeper outings. Imagine how many batters he would’ve been able to send down had he been able to last seven or eight innings. It truly would’ve been a debut for the ages.
Harvey’s pitch count quickly swelled to 106 pitches, forcing Terry Collins to remove him shortly into the sixth inning. Still, he gave the Mets exactly what they needed by snapping their six-game losing skid. If his sterling performance on the mound wasn’t enough, Harvey went 2-for-2 at the plate. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Harvey is the first pitcher since 1900 to record 11 strikeouts and collect two hits in his major league debut.
“It’s great to know you have a young man like that because it just tells us the future’s bright,” Collins said following the Mets’ 3-1 victory.
His next start against the San Francisco Giants will be highly anticipated. Mets fans will be gluing themselves to their TVs to see if he can repeat his dominant debut performance at AT&T Park.
With Harvey in the majors, Mets fans will also be keeping a close eye on Zack Wheeler. Currently, Wheeler has been putting in inconsistent performances at Double-A Binghampton. He’s followed up two impressive outings with two equally rough starts. There’s a strong chance that Wheeler will be promoted to Triple-A Buffalo before season’s end.
For now, Mets fans have seen one half of the future leaders of their rotation. Sooner rather than later, Harvey and Wheeler will be joining forces in the big leagues. Once that day comes, it’s likely that the Mets will be contending for the playoffs, instead of seeing their season sinking before the MLB Trade Deadline.
Is Harvey the real deal? Share your thoughts below and send your tweets to @HartnettWFAN.