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Monday, August 26, 2013
Harvey's historic season likely over

By ESPN Stats & Information

AP Photo/Frank Franklin IIMatt Harvey leads the NL in strikeouts this season.
New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey is likely out for the season with a partially torn UCL in his right elbow.

The 24-year-old was having an impressive season, sporting a 2.27 ERA with 191 strikeouts in 26 starts.

Harvey ranks second in the majors in ERA, third in WHIP and fourth in strikeouts this season.

However, there have been signs of a slight decline in performance throughout the year. Harvey’s ERA has increased every month throughout the season. It went from a 1.56 ERA in April to a 2.97 this month.

Nobody has thrown the ball as fast as Harvey this season. Among pitchers qualified for the ERA title, Harvey’s average velocity on his fastball, slider and curveball are all the fastest in the majors.

Not many pitchers as young as Harvey have been as effective at such a young age. Harvey’s WHIP (0.93) is the second-lowest in the live ball era (since 1920) by a pitcher in his age 24 or younger season, among qualified pitchers. Only Denny McLain’s WHIP (0.91 in 1968) was lower. The four other pitchers in the live ball era besides Harvey with a 0.97 or lower WHIP in their age 24 or younger season won the Cy Young award that season.

If you look at the three things that a pitcher can most control -- walks, strikeouts and home runs -- Harvey was having a historic season. His FIP (fielding independent pitching) of 1.99 is the fourth-best in a season in the divisional era (since 1969).

Harvey has had some spectacular performances this season. He has six double-digit strikeout games, the most in the National League. He allowed one run or fewer in at least seven innings in each of his first four starts of the season. His most impressive outing was perhaps against the Chicago White Sox on May 7, when he became the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1992 with nine scoreless innings allowing only one hit with 12 strikeouts in a no decision.

Harvey will be the third pitcher in the modern era to finish a season with at least 25 starts, an ERA below 2.30, and no more than nine wins. The last to do so was George Bell for the 1907 Brooklyn Superbas. The other was Dummy Taylor in 1902 for the Cleveland Bronchos and New York Giants.