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Matt Harvey Pitches Game of the Year

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Harvey retired 27 of the 28 batters he faced and only got a no-decision for his efforts

Matt Harvey Pitches Game of the Year

News flash: Matt Harvey is very, very good at pitching. The young Mets ace was almost perfect last night for the Mets, losing his perfect game attempt with two outs in the seventh inning on a weak infield hit surrendered to Ale Rios (who just barely beat out the throw, mind you). He wasn't fazed by losing perfection, however. He just retired the next seven batters and struck out the final two batters he faced.

But of course, the Mets couldn't muster up any offense of their own against Chicago starter Hector Santiago. Even though Harvey went the distance, gave up just the one hit and struck out 12, he ended up with a no-decision. The Mets finally broke through in the 10th inning on Mike Baxter's pinch-hit RBI single.

Cliff Corcoran elaborated on how special Harvey's game was last night (and in his young career) over at Sports Illustrated:

[...]The performance dropped his ERA after seven starts to 1.28, his WHIP to 0.69. He also lowered his career marks after 17 major league starts to a 2.07 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. What’s more, by game score, it was the best-pitched game of the season, besting Yu Darvish’s perfect-game bid by one point, and the best-pitched game by a Met since David Cone faced what was essentially a spring training lineup on the final day of the 1991 season and struck out 19 Phillies. As much as Johan Santana’s no-hitter meant to Mets fans last year, this was a far better performance (Rios was as close to out as Carlos Beltran’s ball in the Santana game was to foul), and is all the more impressive for coming so early in Harvey’s career.

To that last point, since 1916, which is as far back as we have complete box score data, just three pitchers have posted a game score higher than the 97 Harvey registered Tuesday night in an outing of nine or fewer innings within their first 20 major league appearances.

Harvey has been absolutely incredible since he's been called up to the majors. What made his performance last night even more badass was the nosebleed he suffered in the first inning. He just pitched right on through it, wiping it off and acting like it was nothing. Obviously, that trace amount of blood he lost was the difference between perfection and his near-perfect game, and we can all point to that as the definitive reason the grounder he gave up wasn't hit hard enough.

But in all seriousness, the Mets have the real deal in Harvey. In 17 career starts, he's allowed more than three earned runs only three times. He has never had a start last fewer than five innings. And the kid is still only 24 years old. I don't think this is the last time we'll see a start like this from Harvey.

Let CHARGED.fm get you tickets to see the Matt Harvey and the New York Mets all season long!

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