The Business of Baseball, pres. by XEROX: Harvey’s first big league season is completed

Last night, in what was his final start of the 2012 season, Matt Harvey allowed one run on one hit with three walks and seven strikeouts seven innings against the Phillies.

“Part of the reason I don’t want to stop pitching is because I have so much fun with these guys,” Harvey said about being shutdown for the rest of the season. “Even though we’re struggling right now, it’s still a big league ballclub. Being up here for the first time and getting to see how everyone plays the game every day, it’s been the biggest excitement for me. I’m going to miss it. The last two weeks are going to be tough.”

The one hit Harvey allowed was a leadoff home run to Jimmy Rollins in the first inning. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harvey became the first Mets pitcher to surrender a leadoff home run as his only hit allowed over at least seven innings.

Harvey’s 2.73 ERA is the third best ERA for a Mets rookie making 10 starts in his first season (Tom Seaver (2.76 in 1967), but behind Dwight Gooden (2.60 in 1984) and Jim McAndrew (2.28 in 1968).

”[Harvey has] accomplished much more, certainly, than we had hoped,” Collins said after the game. “We were just hoping he was going to get through the Triple-A season and have success and certainly be in the picture next year.”

Harvey held opponents to a .098 batting average with two strikes this season, .200 overall. He struck out 10.6 batters per nine innings – of the 758 pitches he threw in his 10 starts, Harvey got the opposition to swing and miss 13 percent of the time.

”It’s a constant battle,” Harvey explained. “I want to work a little extra harder this off-season so coming into spring training I can revert back to the success I had this year and keep going with it.”

Overall, Harvey finished his big league season with a 3-5 record, but with a 2.73 ERA, 26 walks, 70 strikeouts, and five home runs allowed in 59 1/3 innings. He will not qualify as a rookie in 2013, because he threw more than 50 Major League innings this season.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” Harvey said. “It was only 60 innings [in the big leagues]. A regular season is 200, so I’ve got to be able to do that for 200 innings instead of 60.”

Harvey logged 169 1/3 innings between Triple-A Buffalo and the Mets this season.

Michael Baron, Contributor

I’m the first to admit that I had my doubts about the Mets calling up Harvey when they did. It’s not that I thought he wasn’t going to be a great pitcher – I had watched him enough over his first two professional seasons and knew he would eventually be special – but, I didn’t think he was ready and I feared the Mets would stunt his growth by bringing him up prematurely. I was wrong, and I happily stand corrected.

Yes, he still needs to refine is off-speed pitches, but the ‘stuff’ is there for sure; and when he did execute, he was filthy. For the most part, Harvey was scintillating from the moment he arrived in the Major Leagues and showed he can both power and finesse the opposition on any given night. He capped a great beginning to his career with a phenomenal performance last night, throwing and commanding his mid 90s fastball on each side of the plate and generating swings and misses 12 1/2 percent of the time. Despite the disappointing end to last night’s game, Harvey was a lot of fun to watch; and all I could think about was how high this kid’s ceiling is. What’s more, he has such a strong personality and is focused and determined and he strives for perfection.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I agree with most of what Mike had to say, but my optimism is still guarded a bit. I have been waiting three decades for the Mets to develop an ace, and I’ve had my hopes raised and interest piqued by so many ‘pitching prospects,’ only to have them dashed, that I hope you can forgive me for being cautious. And, while I’m not sure Harvey will ever be an automatic, shut-down, lights-out, front-end starting pitcher, he is (at the very least) a major building block that Sandy Alderson can put in his pocket this winter… and that’s huge. In the event Jon Niese is not traded (which I hope he isn’t, but I will understand if he is moved for a bat) he, Harvey, RA Dickey and hopefully Zack Wheeler should have the ability to anchor this team’s rotation over the next few years. I have a good feeling about this clique, and think (with the right relievers and a productive outfield) they can be more than good-enough to get the Mets playing in to future Octobers. In other words, unlike previous reboots, this organization’s biggest problem right now is not its starting pitching – and Harvey only added to that confidence by pitching as well as he did this season. Enjoy your winter, Matt…

To watch Harvey’s post-game interview with Harvey, watch this: