Stephen Strasburg has offered up some advice for the rehabbing Matt Harvey: Take it slow. Strasburg, was in Harvey’s same position just a few years ago. He took the league by storm upon his arrival in 2010, but it was short-lived by season ending surgery that cost him a full year. Strasburg’s situation is eerily similar to Harvey, whose domination was abruptly ended by an elbow injury last season.
Strasburg shared these words from his experiences “It can flip on you,’’ He said of the rehab process. “You’ll feel great one day and the next day it’s terrible. The best advice I got was, ‘Look where you were at the start of the month and then at the end of the month. Don’t look at where you were yesterday.’ ”
Harvey and Strasburg are each represented by super agent Scott Boras, Strasburg offered to help out the fellow Boras client if he needs it “I told Scott, if Matt ever needs anything, call me,’’ Strasburg said. “I’ve been through it. I know by judging how hard he works he should be, hopefully, fine.’’
Unfortunately, Harvey initially opted to rest his elbow in hopes of recovering the natural way. After a few months of deliberating and receiving some further medical opinions, he opted for Tommy John surgery in October. Despite Harvey’s mindset on returning in late 2014, that goal seems unlikely as the Mets will be cautious with their young ace.
In any case, I can’t wait to watch these two go head-to-head next season. I was fortunate enough to be at the game last year when a “Harvey’s better” chant broke out as he out-dueled Strasburg in Citi Field. Don’t remember? Here’s a reminder of how awesome that night was.
The Mets have dropped four straight games as they once again turn to their young ace, Matt Harvey, to stop the bleeding. So far the Mets are 5-0 in games that Harvey starts as opposed to 5-13 when anyone else takes the mound. Similarly to Steve Carlton’s 1972 season with the Phillies, Matt Harvey’s starts are quickly becoming known as “Win-Day” for this struggling team. Although I expect the Mets to win more than that clubs 59 games, it does have that same feeling.
This weekends series against the Phillies was downright awful, there’s no other way to put it. Watching these games made you feel as if the season was over already and it’s still April. Even this early in the season, each and every one of Harvey’s starts feels like a must win game for this team. There has been no other excitement and the team plays with a different level of energy in games that he starts. It is a lot to ask a 24-year-old in entering his first full season to be the stop-gap for losing streaks, but he seems to thrive on that “must win” mentality and wants the ball in these situations.
Whether the Mets wants to admit it or not, we are all aware that this is a rebuilding year. The best thing this team has going for them is Matt Harvey, we can only hope these starts coming during extended losing streaks will be good experience for him going forward. With the way this team has been playing as of late, Harvey could be seeing himself getting plenty of starts in these type of situations. He does not accept losing and clearly strives for greatness. This club may not be on that path just yet, but Harvey is.
Although this game will not have the same hype that the Strasburg match-up did, Harvey faces another young promising starter in Jose Fernandez. The Marlins have high hopes for the 20-year-old and tonight could be the first of many head-to-head match-ups for years to come. While I fully expect Harvey to continue his dominance against the lowly Marlins tonight, it is impossible to expect the Mets to win each and every one of his starts. If the Mets have any hopes of staying relevant this season they will need to improve their performance the four games in between Harvey’s starts, and fast.
In the 1980’s, Dwight Gooden, made Friday night games at Shea stadium the place to be. He owned the decade and seemed to be pitching every Friday night at Shea, making it the hottest ticket in town. Matt Harvey, is well aware of this and looks to give Citi Field its first bit of electricity tonight. I don’t expect the Mets to sell out, its early and this team has not won over the hearts of fans just yet, but tonight could be the start of something special if Harvey is able to rise to the occasion once again as he takes on Stephen Strasburg.
Matt Harvey and Stephen Strasburg are two of the best young pitchers in the game today. This game isn’t just ace-vs-ace, it also represents future-vs-future. Both of these young aces are the players that each organization looks to build around for the years to come. The Nationals have already surrounded Straburg will a strong core and are the favorites to win the NL this year. The Mets look to copy their blue print and hope to be contending with the Nationals in the near future. These two aren’t going anywhere, Harvey and Strasburg are both only 24, this hopes to be the first of many match-ups between the two.
Harvey, has gotten off to a dominant start, sitting at 3-0 with a 0.82 era and drawing attention all around baseball as a rising star. Last week, he was named the NL pitcher of the week for his success. In what is going to be a rebuilding year for the Mets, as young players will begin to emerge, Harvey looks to be the ace the Mets so desperately need. Straburg, is already well established coming off a 2012 season where he showed his greatness going 15-6 with a 3.16 era on his way to an all-star game appearance, before being shut down for an innings limit, but that’s a whole other discussion. He has gotten off to a mixed start sitting at 1-2 on the year but has a low era of just 2.95.
The Mets have not seen much excitement for many games at Citi field, besides opening day games since opening in 2009. This is the first game that I can remember that has any real buzz surrounding it, as fans are excited to watch these two flame throwers go head-to-head this evening. I look forward to heading out to Citi Field tonight and watching these two go at it in person.