Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Glimmer of Sunshine Named Harvey Hits Citi

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Glimmer of Sunshine Named Harvey Hits Citi

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- He hunched forward at his locker, staring down into a ceramic coffee mug. It has been a month. He is living in a hotel, has grown a beard and now owns two major-league wins.

"Obviously I've tried to enjoy every moment of it, soak everything up," Mets pitcher Matt Harvey said Sunday morning in the home clubhouse. "And I think I've done a pretty good job with that. Whether it's walking around a new stadium or just really soaking up every second of being in this stadium and being around the guys, it's been awesome."

A month ago, he was an amorphous flicker of hope, a 23-year-old who possessed a cannon of a right arm. Whether that cannon would translate to a big-league mound was pure conjecture.

Six starts into Harvey's career, Mets fans have seen a window into his potential. The view through that window has inspired the type of hope fans of a 59-69 baseball team crave.

In five of those six starts, he has allowed three runs or fewer. His record (2-3) is a poor reflection of how well he has pitched -- is ERA is 2.75. Only once have the Mets scored more than three runs for him.

He will make his seventh start Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

"To watch this guy absorb everything around him has been impressive," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "Before the game starts, even though it's meaningless to most people, he's the first player on the bench. ... So today, 12:35, 12:40, Matt Harvey's walking up and down the bench.

"There's more to him than I realized. He wants to learn. He wants to be good. He wants to be good fast."

And yet the Mets are treading cautiously, fearful of pushing his innings total up into the stratosphere. He has thrown 36 innings in the majors and 110 innings for Class AAA Buffalo, giving him a total of 146 this season. The Mets do not want him pushing past 170.

"I'm a very competitive guy," Harvey said. "I'd love to finish the season strong -- at least 10 starts -- and do everything I can to help the team. …

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