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Friday, July 26, 2013
W2W4: Harvey on debut anniversary

By ESPN Stats & Information

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Matt Harvey's major league debut, which came against the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 26, 2012.

That day, Harvey struck out 11 hitters in 5 1/3 scoreless innings, showing flashes of the pitcher he's now become.

Where he stands
Entering Friday, Harvey ranked third in the majors over the past calendar year with a 2.38 ERA, trailing only Clayton Kershaw (1.84) and Bartolo Colon (2.33). Harvey also ranks second to Kershaw in opponents' batting average (.195) and opponents' OPS (.551). Harvey's 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings rank third in that span behind Yu Darvish (11.2) and Max Scherzer (10.6).

Harvey's ERA and WHIP through 30 appearances are the best in that span in Mets history.

The biggest difference ...
The biggest difference between the Harvey now and the Harvey of a year ago is in how he's limited his walks. In his debut, Harvey had three in 5 1/3 innings. He walked at least three in six of his 10 starts last season.

This season, he's walked three or more in four of his 20 starts, but he's also had six walk-free starts. His 28 walks this season (137 innings) are only two more than he had in 2012 (59 1/3 innings).

Harvey is particularly careful in three-ball counts. He's thrown 81 percent strikes when faced with a three-ball scenario, up from 65 percent a year ago.

Harvey has six games this season with double-digit strikeouts, which is tied for the MLB lead with Yu Darvish of the Rangers.

The last Met to lead the majors in double-digit strikeout games was David Cone in 1990, when he had nine such performances.

Dwight Gooden and Tom Seaver are the only other Mets to do it, as each did it twice.

Matchup to watch: Harvey vs Harper
Bryce Harper is 0-for-6 in his career against Harvey, the third-worst 0-for he's had against a pitcher in his brief career (he's 0-for-8 against Paul Maholm and 0-for-7 against Jason Hammel).

Harvey has a host of hitters with decent-sized 0-fors against him. The worst belongs to Phillies slugger Domonic Brown, who is 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts against him.

Harper has had trouble in his career catching up to ultrahard stuff, as has been previously documented in this space and elsewhere.

He has one hit and 16 outs this season against pitches thrown 95 mph or harder, with that lone hit coming against Gerrit Cole two days ago.

Harvey threw 65 pitches 95 mph or faster in his last start against the Phillies. They netted him seven outs and one (Chase Utley) hit by pitch.