Matt Harvey scrutinized Justin Verlander's performance Friday.
“He’s one of the best,” Harvey said. “So me being a person that wants to be the best, you watch something like that. …
“He throws 230-plus innings a year. Obviously he’s doing something right. I wanted to watch what he does in preparation and try to emulate someone like that.”
New York Mets
Saturday, Harvey surrendered a leadoff homer to Christian Yelich, the Miami Marlins’ two-time minor league player of the year, but no other damage in 2 2/3 innings.
Harvey tossed 49 pitches while allowing three hits and a walk. He struck out four in his second Grapefruit League appearance. He departed with two runners on base. Collin McHugh stranded both by coaxing Matt Downs into a flyout to center field.
“Last year, coming up to the big leagues, I didn’t have my curveball all that often,” Harvey said. “That was really something I wanted to start throwing a lot more. It’s almost right where I want it. I threw a lot of really good ones today, and didn’t really feel like I threw a lot of bad ones. That’s definitely a big plus for me.”
What did Harvey observe while scrutinizing Verlander on Friday?
He particularly noticed Verlander’s warm-up routine.
“Obviously everyone sees midseason how he’s throwing 100 [mph], but it looked like he was kind of playing a game out there, which was pretty nice to watch,” Harvey said. “I think he was throwing -- what? -- 91, 93 or 94. It’s funny to watch him throw when he’s got that 100 in his back pocket. He’s got a lot more time than I do obviously, so he can play around with a lot more things than I can. It’s fun to watch.”
Harvey said he did not get a chance to chat with Verlander when the ace made the visit to Port St. Lucie. But Terry Collins , who is close with Tigers manager Jim Leyland, indicated he’d like to make a conversation happen.
“Hopefully I’ll chew his brain a little bit down the road,” Harvey said. “I just sat back and watched.”
Harvey aims to reach 200 innings this season. He got to 169 1/3 innings last season between Triple-A and the majors before the Mets shut him down after a Sept. 19 start to guard against too large an innings jump from 2011.
“You look back at all the top pitchers and they’re workhorses. They’re going 200-plus innings,” Harvey said. “Obviously with [R.A.] Dickey last year he went 230 innings. That’s the goal for all of us pitchers; 200-plus innings is the best mark. You can’t set goals for anything, realistically, other than staying healthy and going 200-plus innings. The rest will take care of itself.
“It’s the one and only goal for me. That’s 200 innings. If you’re doing that at 30 starts a season, you’re going deep into games, and that’s a pretty successful season.”