The Batman signal has been shattered but can the Dark Knight be fixed?
The citizens of Gotham booed their once beloved Superhero on Thursday night May 19th versus the Nationals, quite the opposite of the ballyhooed matchup of Strasburg v. Harvey three years ago on April 19th 2013.
In their previous duel Mets’ fans were raucously chanting “Harvey’s better” but the times they are a changing.
Fast to forward to present day and Strasburg’s game is among the starting pitching elite, while Harvey’s crisis is reaching critical mass.
An autopsy into the causes and effect of this downward spiral is necessary.
Missives From The Mound: Matt Harvey Edition
Yes, Matt Harvey’s velocity is down across the board with his pitches but it’s still superior to the vast majority of starting pitchers in the game.
YEAR FB% SL% CB% CH%
2013 56.9% (95.8) 18.5% (89.9) 13.4% (83.5) 11.3% (87.2)
2015 60.9% (95.9) 14.1% (89.7) 12.6% (83.9) 12.4% (88.4)
2016 59.9% (94.0) 16.9% (87.9) 9.9% (81.9) 13.2% (86.4)
While his fastball, slider and curveball velocities are all down almost 2.0%, he still ranks among the leaders in terms of qualified starting pitches in these categories, FBv 12th, SLv 3rd and CBv 7th.
Harvey also sits a top the BABIP leaderboard @ .385 and has the fifth lowest LOB% @ 62.2, if he regresses to the mean in both of these categories his fortunes should be very beneficial to his game.
In comparing Matt’s ERA to his FIP there is optimism as his 5.77 ERA (currently 7th worst) is over two full points higher than his 3.66 FIP.
Also of note, his 67.3% FPK% is 10th best and has registered 10.7% SWK%, which is solid and well above league average.
Other interesting statistics to consider, is he has induced soft contact and owns a low well-hit rate but according to Daren Willman his exit velocity isn’t trending in the right direction.
Beyond the statistical analysis, Harvey’s confidence is clearly shaken and that swagger he once possessed is missing in action. The execution of his pitches has been another major flaw and was highlighted versus the Nationals when he hung an 0-2 pitch that Daniel Murphy crushed for a two run homer in the first inning.
I would buy low on the Dark Knight based on his overall numbers and remember how terrible Strasburg was last year after his first 10 game starts of the season before finishing with stellar results in his final 13 game starts.