Last week New York Mets manager Terry Collins referred to Matt Harvey as his Ace. With a 4-0 record and 1.54 ERA, it’s hard to argue with Collins and Harvey will have yet another opportunity to prove worth of the title when the Mets head to Miami tonight to face the Marlins in the midst of a season-high four game losing streak. Getting swept at home by the Phillies like the Mets recently did is one thing, I mean it happened just last year so while it’s disappointing it’s not completely unexpected. The Marlins, however, represent the one team within the division the Mets appear to be in a better position, not just in the future but the present.
So when Matt Harvey looks to play the roll of stopper tonight, as Aces are often called upon to do, he will have to avoid overlooking a team that is in the NL East basement at 6-19.
Focus has never seemed to be something that escapes Harvey and he’ll also have a little motivation in the way of his opposing pitcher, fellow phenom Jose Fernandez, who held the Mets to just 3 hits and 1 run over 5 innings while striking out 8 in his major league debut back on April 7. The 24-year-old Harvey will also have to hope that the Mets bats, which still lead the NL East in runs scored at 115, is warmed up by the Florida sun after the team hit .186 (53-285) with 81 strikeouts during the nine-game homestand which concluded yesterday.
Photo by Michael G. Baron
Run support or not, the Mets need Harvey to be the Ace Collins proclaimed him to be. He’s what is essentially has kept the New York relevant in the public eye and has a chance to do so again tonight when eyes will be not only on him but the 20-year-old righty he will share the mound with at Marlins Park. The good news for New York is that the team’s last losing streak of more than two games, a 3 game skid in Colorado, ended when the team returned home to face Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals on a night when Harvey dazzled with 7 innings of 1 run ball. Simply put, there’s nobody else fans would rather see on the mound tonight with their team badly in need of a win.