In the first two games Matt Harvey started in 2013, John Buck went 3-for-8 with 2 HR and 6 RBIs. Harvey went 2-0 with 1 ER and 19 Ks in 14 IP. And a trend was born. Buck has been behind the plate for every Harvey start since. As a player with limited MLB experience, it’s unlikely that Harvey has demanded that Buck be his personal catcher. It’s much more likely that Terry Collins liked the veteran catcher matched with the young pitcher.
And as with most strategies employed by Collins, he deploys this matchup consistently and anally.
Common practice is to give catchers the day off when a day game follows a night game. It makes even more sense when the catcher is on the other side of 30, like Buck is. Yet Thursday afternoon saw Buck behind the plate for a 12:40 start, even though he was on the field the night before. Perhaps coincidentally, Buck went 0-for-4 in a game where the Mets ended up scoring zero runs.
A lack of run support has been a consistent theme for Harvey star...