Matt Harvey refuses to see just how bad things have gotten
Matt Harvey cited positives. Mickey Callaway described it as a “blip.”
Apparently, five runs over two innings is making progress these days for Harvey.
The one-time dominant right-hander, who has struggled since being demoted to the bullpen after back-to-back injury-riddled lost seasons, entered in a rout and turned it into a laugher as the Mets were swept by the Braves, 11-0, at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon.
“It’s a little blip on the road — again — but we got to keep pounding away and try to make sure we do the best we can with Matt Harvey,” Callaway said.
After retiring the first four batters he faced, Harvey’s outing turned ugly. He walked three, allowed five hits, and a three-run homer to Ozzie Albies in an disastrous seventh inning that led to him being booed off the mound. His velocity initially was improved, his fastball reaching 95 mph. But by his final inning of work, he was down to 92, and his pitches were either wild or over the fat part of the plate.
“I’m still struggling obviously with [the move to the bullpen],” Harvey said. “But there are some positives out of today other than the numbers. Now it’s just about putting everything together.”
That didn’t stop Harvey from trying to look at the bright side as his ERA ballooned to 7.00, and 10.50 over six innings of work since going to the bullpen. He repeatedly went back to talking about what he viewed as positives — in particular, his 1-2-3 sixth inning when he struck out Ronald Acuna Jr. — rather than harp on the five runs he allowed.
“I got to keep working and try and fine-tune mechanics and executing pitches kind of like I did that at-bat,” he said.
Callaway still sees major mechanical issues with Harvey that have been there since spring training. He’s too stiff in his motion, yanking the ball instead of throwing it through the catcher.
“The way his body is working right now, it’s not allowing him to throw through the catcher,” Callaway said. “In spring training, he was really throwing through the catcher, and there was life on the ball, a little bit more [velocity]. Right now, even the strikes he throws look like they’re landing into the catcher’s mitt instead of going through the catcher.
“He’s got a ways to go. But one thing we can’t ever do is give up on anybody.”
Harvey declined to address the Page Six report in which he traveled to Los Angeles for a night of partying following the team’s arrival in San Diego last week. General manager Sandy Alderson took a shot at Harvey on Tuesday, saying, “Usually I get upset if a report is unexpected, so I guess the short answer is no,” when asked his reaction to the report.
“I’m not answering any questions about that,” Harvey said.
He was happy to talk about his outing — the positive parts at least, few as those were to find.
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