For a guy with twelve career wins to his name coming into today, Matt Harvey has a goddamn flair for the dramatic.
In his first game since August, 2013, Harvey shut down the Nationals for six innings while striking out nine while once again beating Stephen Strasburg.
Say it with me: Har-vey’s Bet-ter!
OK, I’m not going to go nuts today and say the Mets are world beaters and that we’re playoff bound or anything like that. That would be crazy talk and I’ve got a few years to go before society says it’s OK for me to show up without pants at your doorstep asking for ice cream. But this was a big game and win for the Mets.
I’m not even joking. This was probably the biggest third game of the season they’ve had maybe ever. When you think about all the bullshit that has gone on since 2006 and all the promises and hopes that have come and gone to get us to point, it was imperative for the Mets to get off to a good start. Especially against Washington. Especially while they’re dealing with early injuries and are a bit vulnerable.
Sure, come the end of September, they may end up ahead of us in the standings, but had the Mets lost today and had Harvey not been the Harvey of 2013, we’d all be ready to jump off a cliff. Those of us who’ve put in the work and supported the front office’s plan to rebuild this franchise deserve to be rewarded. And our reward seems to all hinge on the right arm of Matt Harvey.
Remember when 2014 was supposed to be THE year? The Mets were coming back. It was going to be 1985 all over again. But Harvey got hurt and plans got pushed back a year. Well as the recent book “Baseball Maverick” (check out my book report on this site!) proclaimed: The Mets are revived. But it was Sandy Alderson who revived the team, it was Matt fucking Harvey.
There is not a single person who I’ve ever met that bought a ticket or a t-shirt of a general manager. Having books about you are nice. And, yeah, I even like all those new number things. But we care about the players. Players sell tickets. Players move merchandise. Players fill parking lots, make for long lines at bathrooms, beer stands and Shake Shack. Great players do all of that, but multiplied by two.
The Mets know this. There’s a reason Harvey’s starting twice at Citi on the upcoming homestand. Just like there was a reason a good deal of Mets fans made the trip to DC today. Matt Harvey makes us care just a little more. So what if he gets hurt again becomes another agonizing footnote in the team’s history? The fact is that he’s here. He’s now. And every time he steps on that mound, we honestly don’t think the other team has a shot of even getting a hit until they actually do. And even then we’re like, “Holy fuck…that dude just got a hit off Harvey.”
Matt Harvey stepped out on to the field in Washington today and did some Matt Harvey things because that’s what Matt Harvey does. The lineup was able to thank him by getting some hits and scoring some runs then, Ian Desmond was nice enough to help us get more runs and it ended up being a very pleasant day. The team sits at 2-1 and heads to Atlanta tomorrow to take on the undefeated Braves who just swept the Marlins. Both teams made a lot of splashy deals this offseason with the Marlins picking up some significant talent and the Braves shipping off some significant talent.
A series win there would be great and would add to what’s already a lively and fun atmosphere for the home opener on Monday. For now, just enjoy the moment and be happy that Harvey Days are here again.
Quick notes: The only Mets starter (outside of Harvey) without a hit today was Lucas Duda who’s been killing the ball. Baseball is funny like that.
After hitting homers every five minutes during the spring, the team has yet to have their first one that counts this season. If it ends up being Ruben Tejada, I’m not fucking cheering.
Jeurys Familia pitched the ninth and looked…shaky, I guess? I think the plan of action should be to score like 26 runs each game that way we don’t have to worry about a guy trying to hold a lead late.
A nice way to start the season. Hopefully, it carries over to the next series. See you in Atlanta.