For Harvey, the pitching is the easy part

April, 2, 2013
4/02/13
4:39
PM ET
Matt Harvey's former UNC teammate, ESPN.com editor Teddy Mitrosilis, explains the righthander's single-minded approach to success -- and how he learned to leave it on the mound.

Ten weeks before his first start of the 2013 season, Matt Harvey is firing a baseball in the batting cage underneath Citi Field. If not for the hissing fastball and humming fluorescent lights overhead, there'd be a still silence.

A New York Mets PR staffer walks in. It's a slow news day, he says, and he needs some photos. He squats to the side of the mound, snaps a few and groans about the dim lighting. It's messing with his digital magic.

Harvey seems to take a subtle satisfaction in this -- not the staffer's inconvenience, but the dimness and slight despair of the setting itself.

"This is my dungeon," Harvey says. He's joking, sort of.

You could say Harvey has voluntarily spent a large portion of his 24 years in a dungeon of his own, a place of remote existence and comfort for him. That decision carries a certain detachment, a price true believers pay for being addicted to high ambitions.

Harvey paid -- he still does, in some ways -- and it was essential to his rise to the big leagues. Like Harvey himself, the cost takes time to understand.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187