Temper Expectations For Matt Harvey

Given all that has happened with Matt Harvey over the past few seasons, it is easy to attribute much more significance to Harvey’s start against the Brewers.  That’s what happens when Harvey fails to show up for a game and with the team suspending him for three games.

Reportedly, Harvey apologized to his teammates, and by all accounts, they have accepted his apology.  Harvey spoke with the media to offer his explanation.  All that remains is for Harvey to truly address the fans.  For fans, they don’t want words.  They want Harvey to go out there and be the old Harvey.  That starts with his start in Milwaukee.  Anything less than pure dominance, and fans will have their avenue to criticize Harvey.

The Harvey fans expect is the one we expect was 22-13 with a 2.50 ERA, 0.976 WHIP, and a 9.3 K/9 between 2013 and 2015.  He was the guy that had a great start in the NLCS and Game 5 of the World Series.  The problem is that Harvey is not that pitcher.  After his TOS surgery, he has yet to get back to being that pitcher.  He’s been inconsistent with the velocity in his fastball as well as his pitch location.  Teams have begun to really hit him this season with Harvey allowing at least one home run in five of his six starts this year.

Things have been worse lately.  In his last two starts, he was shelled by the Braves.  In each start, he allowed six earned runs walking three plus.  He wasn’t fooling anyone either only racking up three strikeouts in 9.2 innings pitched and allowing a home run in each start.

Now, this could be the result of his personal issues that led to his suspension.  It could be the Mets asking him to make two unexpected starts.  One of those starts was against the Braves.  Without a real roadmap for pitchers returning from TOS surgery, we are still unsure as to whether this is all part of the normal ebbs and flows for a pitcher.  Possibly, Harvey will never regain his old form.  At this point, we don’t know, and as a result, it’s unfair to ask him to be something he’s not.  There should be no added significance to one start in Milwaukee just because he’s coming off a suspension.

At this point, all we should expect is Harvey to be better than he has been against the Braves.  Like with any other pitcher, the expectation should be for Harvey to keep his team in the game.  More than anything, Harvey just needs to show up.  If he does that while pitching at least decently, that’s all we can ask at this point.