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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Morning briefing: All about Harvey

By Kieran Darcy

FIRST PITCH: Matt Harvey has become must-see TV.

Three weeks ago, he had a no-hitter for 6 2/3 innings against the Minnesota Twins. On Tuesday night, he nearly pitched a perfect game, allowing only a seventh-inning infield single to Alex Rios over nine brilliant innings of work.

Harvey wasn't credited with a victory, since the Mets didn't score themselves until the bottom of the 10th inning. But he remains undefeated on the season (4-0), is second in the National League in ERA (1.28), and leads the NL in strikeouts (58).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harvey is the only pitcher in the last 100 years with at least 125 strikeouts and 25 or fewer earned runs allowed in his first 17 career starts.

It's official -- the 24-year-old is a phenomenon. And every five days when he's on the mound, you have to turn on the Mets, because you might see history.

Wednesday's news reports

• Harvey believed he was capable of throwing a perfect game Tuesday night, and he wasn't the only one. Read more in the Daily News, Post, Times, Newsday, Wall Street Journal, Star-Ledger and Record.

• What made Harvey particularly good against the White Sox? His use of the outer third of the plate, for starters -- read more from ESPN Stats & Information.

• Harvey is already the face of the franchise -- that face was bleeding early Tuesday night, yet he still was almost perfect. Read more from Steve Politi in the Star-Ledger.

• The White Sox, who call the AL Central home, are used to seeing Justin Verlander. Harvey looks very similar -- read more from Joel Sherman in the Post.

• Harvey has captivated New York City, even with the Knicks, Rangers and Islanders in the playoffs. But he won't be able to lift the Mets above mediocrity this season -- just look at their offensive performance on Tuesday. Read more from John Harper in the Daily News.

Mike Baxter played a big role in Johan Santana's no-hitter one year ago, and he did so again Tuesday night -- read more in the Post.

• Harvey is not skipping Wednesday's game against the White Sox to attend Game 4 between the Rangers and Capitals at Madison Square Garden -- read more in the Daily News and Newsday.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Met pitcher John Maine turns 32 on Wednesday. Maine was released by the Miami Marlins on April 22, after making four appearances this season, giving up 10 runs on 15 hits in 7 1/3 innings of work. Prior to that, he hadn't pitched in the majors since 2010, when he was still with the Mets.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

Matt "THE REAL DEAL" Harvey... Enough said! @Mets @MattHarvey33 (@DocGooden16) May 7, 2013

YOU'RE UP: Is Matt Harvey the best pitcher in baseball?