Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Harvey ends his season on high note
By Adam Rubin
After he struck out Carlos Ruiz to end the top of the seventh and complete his final 2012 inning, Matt Harvey confessed to some introspection as he walked off the mound Wednesday night.
"There was definitely some excitement. I had some tingles," Harvey said. "It was kind of a sad moment, I guess, because I knew I was done."
Harvey surrendered a leadoff homer to Jimmy Rollins in the first inning but no other damage and departed with a 2-1 lead, although the Mets ultimately lost. He became the first pitcher in franchise history to surrender a leadoff homer as his only hit in an outing of seven-plus innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
He is being shut down because he has logged 169 1/3 regular-season innings this season between the majors and minors.
"I'm still here. I'm still part of the team," Harvey said after the 3-2 loss on Wednesday night. "And if I'm not on the mound, I'm going to do everything I can to help the team no matter what. I'll be in here and I'll be in the dugout early and cheer the guys on. And when the season is over I'll probably sit back and realize what happened. It will probably hit me then.
"Part of the reason I don't want to stop pitching is because I have so much fun with these guys. Even though we're struggling a little bit right now, it's still a big league ballclub. And being up here for the first time and seeing how everybody plays the game, it's been the biggest excitement for me. I'm going to miss it. The last two weeks are going to be tough. I want to be a part of it, but it's been fun."
He finished with a 2.73 ERA, the fourth-best for a Mets pitcher who made 10 starts and still qualified as a rookie, behind only Jerry Koosman, Jim McAndrew and Dwight Gooden. His 10.6 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate made him the second rookie in franchise history with at least 10 starts to reach that level, joining Gooden (11.39). Since 1970, only 13 rookies in the majors have made 10 starts and had more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings, headlined by Kerry Wood's 12.58 in 1998 with the Chicago Cubs.
"There's still a lot of work to be done," Harvey said. "It was only 60 innings (in the majors). A regular season is 200, so I've got to be able to do that for 200 innings instead of 60. There's a lot of work to be done."
Said Terry Collins: "With this being his last start, I wish we would have got a win for him. But Matt Harvey ought to spend the winter feeling pretty good about himself, the way he's handled everything up here, the way he's pitched. I thought tonight, the way the game started, he does what he always does -- and that's reach inside and compete. He certainly really, really pitched well tonight. He's had an outstanding year. He should be very proud of himself."