Matt Harvey doesn’t throw harder than every other pitcher in baseball, though it is pretty close. Matt Harvey doesn’t have the best stuff of any pitcher in baseball, thought it is pretty close. Matt Harvey doesn’t have the lowest walk rate of any pitcher in baseball, but it is pretty close.
Many pitchers have big time velocity. Many pitchers have terrific control, others have great command. It is possible to have one without the other – pitchers who are able to hit the strikezone with regularity but don’t hit their spot quite as often, resulting in hard hit balls and stuff that doesn’t show up in a raw strikeout-to-walk ratio.
In a single at bat today, Matt Harvey demonstrated the value of all three – working together to against one of baseball’s most dangerous hitters.
I was once like you, alternating between feelings of indifference and hostility towards baseball’s All Star Game. The hollow “this time it counts” conceit grated and the diluted pool of talent was a turn-off. I lamented the game for what it wasn’t and longed for it to be what it was when I was young – or at least how I falsely remembered it.
All of which were mistakes on my part.
The All Star game isn’t perfect but, if you just give it room to breathe and be what it is, it can be a good time and a fun annual tradition. Fun? Perish the thought!
During the long, cold off-season, a tiny morsel of info leaked out from the Orioles front office. Turns out some tall foreheads in the O’s analytics department pounded their keyboards to the bone to learn that there is a “magic number” as it relates to winning ball games: 39 batters faced. If, when pitching at home, a team can keep the total plate appearances of their opponents under 39, they stand a great chance to win.
In the interests of due diligence, let’s check in on this phenomenon as we near the end of May. Does the 38 batters faced threshold still make the difference between winning and losing? Spoiler: of course it does!
Um, 12 strikeouts, no walks, one infield single over nine innings? Welp. Maybe those Mets fans chanting “Harvey’s better!” as Stephen Strasburg were on to something.
It only took 105 pitches to retire 27 of the 28 White Sox set before him on this fateful night in Flushing. Harvey carried a perfect game into the seventh inning, retiring the first 20 batters he faced before Alex Rios legged out an infield single. That would be all the White Sox would get against Harvey, who induced 16 swinging strikes and eight ground balls en route to posting a 97 game score on the ChiSox.
Matt Harvey, making his case for his own semi-religious celebration ala Stramas. Hell, I think Harvey Day might already be on that level. The Elias Sports Bureau, via ESPN Stats & Info, reports Matt Harvey is the first big league starter in 100 years to strikeout out 125 batters while allowing 25 or fewer runs across their first 17 starts.
Does that sound like a bunch of random nonsense? Of course. The takeaway: Matt Harvey is really good. Now you’re up to date.
In the eighth inning against the Twins on Saturday, Matt Harvey faced Chris Parmelee with one out and nobody on. The sequence went like this: 95 MPH fastball (strike looking), 95 MPH fastball (strike swinging), 96 MPH fastball (fouled back), 84 MPH curveball (ball, high), 96 MPH fastball (fouled back). And finally: