Matt Harvey was dominant, creating an intimidating mound presence

Matt Harvey 1 polaroidIn last night’s 8-4 win over the Padres, Matt Harvey allowed one hit and two walks over seven innings.

Harvey earned his first win of the season, and his first career win at Citi Field.

“He pitched an absolutely — under the circumstances — unbelievable game,” Terry Collins said after the game. “You walk out and you grab that baseball in that kind of weather, it feels like a cue ball. The fact that he commanded his stuff as well as he did is impressive.”

Harvey threw 94 pitches, 63 of which were strikes. 67 of his 94 pitches were fastballs, and he induced 20 swings and misses on his fastball.

“With his change and the effectiveness of his curveball and his slider, and he still throws 97 or 98, this guy’s got every weapon you could possibly need to get people out,” Collins continued.

Harvey joined Dwight Gooden and Nolan Ryan as the only third Mets pitcher to have three, ten strikeout games in his first 11 appearances in the majors.

“It’s one outing. I plan on having 30 hopefully this season,” Harvey said. “There’s a lot of work to be done. Tomorrow’s a new day, next week’s another start. Obviously I’m happy for the win, happy for the team that we did get a win. But like I said, there’s work to be done.”

Michael Baron, Contributor

Harvey’s response is awesome, and completely expected. I’m not even sure this kid would be satisfied throwing a perfect game…

Harvey was brilliant last night, and it was very entertaining to watch. As I wrote yesterday, Harvey could have easily no-hit the Padres — he had that kind of stuff right from the beginning. His fastball was electric, with a ton of movement in and out of the strike zone, and he was able to dominate with that through the first three or four innings. He was crisp and efficient, which is something he wanted to improve upon from last season. But perhaps the most impressive part of his performance was his ability to recognize the need to make an adjustment, and do so with flawless execution. He began to use more curveballs and change-ups the second and third time through the order, he threw quality strikes with them, and used a combination of power and finesse to cruise through seven innings.

I know it’s just 11 starts on Harvey’s resume, but he has developed a commanding and intimidating mound presence out there. If he can continue to grow and develop this way, he seems like he could ultimately become one of those pitchers who can win simply with intimidation, much like Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens were able to do in their prime. It’s not to say Harvey will ever join that elite company, but he has the pedigree to dominate like they did, and intimidate his way to success as well.