It seems everyone – opposing fans, the media, family members – has a free pass to laugh at you and the LOLMets whenever they want. Granted the whole Fred Wilpon/Bernie Madoff mess and back-to-back collapses to end the 20o7 and 2008 seasons put a lot of credence into that mockery, but it’s still trying to the Flushing faithful.
The thing is, Mets fans do deeply care about their team.
Sure they might not show up at Citi Field in droves in late August, but they do care. It’s not Mets’ fans fault the Wilpons own the team. Nor is it Mets’ fans fault the club will always live in the shadow of the Yankees, save for some early-era “Seinfeld” reruns when the Amazins’ actually owned the City behind the likes of Darryl, Doc, and Keith.
Tortured Mets fans who’ve lived through such comical ineptness on every level of the organization since the Yadier Molina home run in the 2006 NLCS deserve the arrival of Matt Harvey.
On every fifth day, at least, regardless of everything else, Mets fans can sit back and watch a burgeoning ace take the ball.
Hey, it’s something.
Trust me, the way the last couple seasons have gone Mets fans will take it, so long as Harvey doesn’t take the rout of the so-called “Generation K” trio of Jason Isringhausen, Bill Pulsipher and Paul Wilson. Harvey’s only made 17 starts in the Majors, but does seem to have the look of one of those special talents that comes along every so often where you don’t need a pile of SABR data to back up. The New London, Conn., native seems to be the “real deal” independent of what his BABIP numbers might reveal.
Tuesday night Harvey, pitching after an six-day layoff and first-inning bloody nose, took a perfect game through 6 2/3 innings vs. the White Sox until an infield hit by Alex Rios broke it up.
It’s the second time Harvey went 6 2/3 without allowing a hit this year; Justin Morneau denied his prior no-hit bit with a solo home run off the foul pole on April 14 in Minnesota.
Harvey’s number’s after Tuesday’s start are, well, choose whichever superlative you’d prefer to use as a label. In 49 1/3 innings, he’s racked up 58 strikeouts, while giving up 22 hits and walking 12, all while pitching to a 1.28 ERA. He’s kept it simple too, throwing mostly a 95-mph fastball to set up his off-speed stuff. Opponents are batting just .059 on his slider and .042 on his change.
Mets play-by-play announcer Josh Lewin, fittingly, quoted “Casablanca” in the wake of Rios’ seventh-inning single.
“Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon,” Lewin told the audience on WFAN about Harvey’s prospects of throwing a no-hitter.
This being the Mets, Harvey threw nine scoreless innings vs. the White Sox … only to end up with a no decision since the Mets couldn’t get anything off Hector Santiago and the Chicago bullpen. (Mike Baxter’s 10th-inning single off Nate Jones gave the Mets a 1-0 win.)
Having thrown 105 pitches, Mets manager Terry Collins conceivably could have let Harvey pitch the 10th, in a nod to Harvey Haddix. Imagine the shitstorm that would have created on both sides of the increasingly tedious pitch count debate.
Don’t you realize once a young pitcher hits the 100-pitch threshold his arm turns to glass!!!
In my day guys like Nolan Ryan would throw 200 pitches and still be throwing 100 in the ninth!!!
In the back of Collins’ mind had to be Johan Santana’s no-hitter last June when he threw 134 pitches vs. the Cardinals and was never the same again.
Oh and let’s not forget the Mets’ game also went up against the Knicks/Pacers Game 2. So most of New York was debating the merits of Carmelo Anthony on each and every shot the star forward launched, while Harvey was mowing down the White Sox with surgical efficiency.
Only the Mets.
(Sorry for the cheap shot, couldn’t resist.)
[Photo via Getty Images]