Matt Harvey Gives Mets Fans a Reason to Smile

Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch in his first MLB start against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 26, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Matt Harvey.

So, here’s Matt Harvey’s major-league debut against Arizona in a nutshell: He didn’t allow a run in five-and-a-third innings of work, and he set a franchise record by striking out eleven batters in his first big-league game. He touched 98 on the gun, earned his first major-league win (with his parents in the house watching), and for good measure, went 2-for-2 at the plate, including a double to center in his first at bat as a Met. To quote the Mets’ broadcast booth, this is the stuff of Little League games.

It was also a bright spot for the Mets in a month that badly needed one: Even the bull pen held on to protect the lead, thus snapping the team’s six-game losing streak. Harvey’s eleven strikeouts broke the franchise record that had been set by Bill Denehy and some Seaver kid way back in 1967. (Meanwhile, it only seems like it’s been that long since the Mets bull pen did its job.)

In any case, it’s a long-overdue happy night for the Mets. It doesn’t erase the dreadful home stand that helped sink their season, nor does it mean that Harvey is the reincarnation of a young Dwight Gooden (though, as you can imagine, Doc’s name has popped up today). But Harvey, one of the jewels of the Mets’ farm system, lived up to the hype and then some on night No. 1. And in a week where nothing had gone right for the Mets, that’s worth celebrating. In case you missed any of it, here are all eleven of Harvey’s strikeouts, along with both of his hits:

Matt Harvey Gives Mets Fans a Reason to Smile