Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Harvey apologizes; event 'breathtaking'
By Adam Rubin
NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey described his first All-Star Game this way: "This whole experience has just been breathtaking."
Despite allowing a double to Mike Trout on the game's first pitch, then drilling Robinson Cano in the right quadriceps, Harvey tossed two scoreless innings. He apologized to Cano, who was forced to leave the game.
“The last thing I wanted to do was go out there and possibly injure somebody,” Harvey said. “As he was walking by I was trying to kind of get his attention, as he was going to first. When he then came off, obviously I apologized and made sure he was OK. I think he understands that it wasn’t intentional, obviously. I apologized. ...
"We had called a fastball in there. I knew I had to get it inside, but obviously I didn't want to get it in that much. Once I let it go, I could kind of feel it that I cut it a little bit. I was hoping he was going to be able to get out of the way, but unfortunately he didn't. It was definitely not intentional."
Harvey began to climb out of the two-on, no-out jam in the first inning by striking out feared Miguel Cabrera on a slider.
Matt Harvey made his All-Star debut in fine fashion.
"That was one that I knew I was going to have to buckle down," Harvey said about the matchup. "Obviously the last thing I want to do is go 3-0 [down on the scoreboard] with no outs in an All-Star Game. I knew I had to make good pitches. Obviously throwing to the best catcher in the game [Yadier Molina], it makes it a lot easier just to trust him and go with what he calls."
That Harvey was able to throw sliders signaled the blister issue underneath his right index finger appears resolved. It had bothered Harvey in his final two first-half starts, and led to him getting skipped Saturday in Pittsburgh.
"It healed up pretty great," Harvey said. "It feels fine. I was able to finally throw my slider again, so that was definitely a big help. I'm glad everything is healthy going into the second half."
Harvey, 24, said he was calm on the mound throughout his outing, despite being the youngest starting pitcher in an All-Star Game since Dwight Gooden in 1988 (23 years old).
"I was texting with LaTroy Hawkins after I came out," Harvey said. "He said: 'It looked like you were walking in the park.' Obviously there were some jitters going in the bullpen, but for some reason once I got out there, I felt great. I felt like I was at home."
After a 1-2-3 second, Harvey received a loud ovation from the Citi Field crowd. He regretted not acknowledging it, but said he was still locked in game mode because he is unaccustomed to departing games after two innings.
"I'm used to walking off the field in the second inning and going back out there, so I didn't really pay attention to it," Harvey said. "I wish I kind of stayed in the moment a little bit and gave them a head nod or whatnot. The thanks is there. They've been great all year -- all the fans."
Did he make Gooden and Tom Seaver -- the other Mets to start an All-Star Game -- proud?
"I did all right," Harvey said. "To see the first pitch down the line was a tough way to start the game. But I think I settled in there pretty well, and I did everything I could."
Harvey said sharing the experience with David Wright particularly was rewarding.
"It was so much fun," Harvey said. "Being in the locker room with all the guys, the whole experience, the red carpet, it being in New York and then starting, as a kid I don't think you could have dreamed of doing something like that. It was a tremendous honor. ... This whole experience has been absolutely incredible for me. It's something I'll never forget. I couldn't be more thankful for the support."