Originally posted on New York Mets Report  |  Last updated 4/3/13
There is a likable quality to Matt Harvey having nothing to do with his pitching. He speaks with confidence that doesn’t border arrogance. He has a big time arm without the big time attitude. He’s attentive to your questions, and thoughtful and respectful with his answers. Harvey has a big time future, but doesn’t come across as a big timer. The tip-off is he carries his dirty T-shirt and shorts to the laundry bin instead of leaving them on the floor for the clubhouse attendant. HARVEY: Has the right stuff. (AP) He’s acutely aware of the expectations, vocalized in the ovation he received Opening Day Monday at Citi Field, second only to David Wright in terms of length and volume. “It was great,’’ Harvey said. “It made me feel very good.’’ Now comes the hard part, living up to the expectations of those in the stands, his teammates behind him in the field, and most of all himself. “He has a lot going for him,’’ Wright said. “He carries himself well and pitches with confidence. We believe in him.’’ Injuries thrust Harvey into the Mets’ rotation last July and he responded, pitching with guile, poise and command. Other times, not so much. In ten starts, Harvey went 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA, including an 11-strikeout debut at Arizona. He wasn’t impressive in his lone start against the Padres, giving up five runs, but lasting five innings. Based on last year’s numbers, there is a multitude of scouting reports and statistical projections of him. Harvey wants to hear none of that and cites one number. “Innings are most important,’’ said Harvey. “I want to pitch over 200 innings. If I can do that, the rest will come.’’ Harvey accomplished much last year, but didn’t win at Citi Field. He gets his chance tonight against the Padres. “It’s a new season and everybody wants to get that first win out of the way,’’ Harvey said on Opening Day. “Pitching at Citi Field is awesome. … [Tonight] is going to be a lot of fun for me. I’m really excited about it and after watching [Jon] Niese out there [Monday], it was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to my turn.’’ The original scouting report on Harvey was sketchy, but he’s no longer a surprise. Every team has him on film and knows his tendencies. That’s why it is important to tone down your expectations because often a pitcher hits a wall in his second year and realizes what he counted on before might not work now. Harvey said his sophomore year is about making adjustments. He realizes he can’t get by on just a fastball. He realizes he can’t overpower everybody. He realizes he must bring more to the table. “You can’t get into a routine and rhythm of doing the same things over and over again,’’ said Harvey, who had a spectacular 2.96 ERA in seven starts this spring. “I think that kind of carried over into spring training too, facing a couple of teams, the Nationals, things like that. Those guys have seen me before. It’s just going out and attacking the zone and try to mix in different pitches in different counts and hopefully not leading every guy off with a fastball, or something like that.’’ There are nights Harvey can dominate, as he did the Diamondbacks. However, strikeouts cause the pitch count to add up, and with it, the possibility of coming out of a game early. “I want them to put the ball in play,’’ Harvey said. “I want to keep my pitch count down and that will give me length.’’ Yes, Harvey has a plus fastball, but said it’s important to throw his curveball and change-up for strikes, especially in a fastball count. “I can’t have them waiting on the fastball,’’ said Harvey, repeating the mantra of ever pitcher outside a knuckleballer. If he does that, those expectations will be met, and with that, come even higher expectations.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL Legends (and Jose Canseco!) Have No Love For Captain America
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

Colin Kaepernick on national anthem: 'I'll continue to sit'

Stephen Jones: Cowboys 'look forward' to starting Prescott

Stanton has 'slim chance' of returning for final week?

Kubiak hinting that Siemian is favorite for Broncos' QB job?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Harbaugh: NFL needs to make changes to preseason

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker