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August 8, 2013

What You Need to Know

Harvey's First Shutout

by Chris Mosch and Satchel Price


The Wednesday Takeaway
Matt Harvey has enjoyed a rather spectacular first year in the majors, but somehow, the Mets ace had never shut out a team before Wednesday night (though he did throw nine scoreless on May 7 in a game it took the Mets 10 innings to win). He emphatically ended that drought against the Rockies, puzzling hitters throughout nine innings as New York earned a 5-0 victory. Though the National League’s current strikeout leader didn’t put up his usually gaudy total in that category, fanning just six batters, this performance was a real gem.

The right-hander never looked uncomfortable as the Rockies struggled to muster anything offensively, failing to get a runner into scoring position until the ninth inning. Harvey can be excused for that, too, considering the only reason Charlie Blackmon got to second base was fielder’s indifference prior to the game’s final out. Needing to get that last batter to complete the shutout, Harvey forced Troy Tulowitzki to pop up to second base.

The margin makes it seem like Harvey had some wiggle room in this game, but most of New York’s scoring came on a three-run double by Wilmer Flores in the bottom of the eighth inning. For much of the game, Harvey looked to be working with the usual weak run support he has received this season.

But as he has done throughout this season, the 24-year-old pumped out a masterpiece to blank Colorado. Practically all of his outs came easily, as he induced 14 grounders to just seven fly balls. When people talk about pacing and maintaining velocity over nine frames, well, look at this:

Harvey’s hardest pitch of the night, measured at 99.3 miles per hour according to Brooks Baseball, came in the eighth inning. He finished his night by touching 99 again with another fastball, before getting Tulowitzki’s pop up on a slider near 92 mph. Again, these were his 105th and 106th pitches of the night.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Skewed Left: Fisking a... (08/08)
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Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (08/09)
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