Matt Harvey is averaging almost 95 MPH on his fastball this season.
When Matt Harvey climbs the mound tonight against the Dodgers (7 ET on ESPN), he'll attempt to become the third pitcher in Mets history to go 5-0 or better in the month of April.
The company he'll attempt to join has four Cy Young awards and more than 5,400 career strikeouts between them: Dwight Gooden, who did it in 1988, and Pedro Martinez (2006).
It starts with the fastball...
Harvey is averaging almost 95 MPH on his fastball this season, second in the majors among qualified starters.
The fastball has been Harvey's strikeout pitch. He's racked up 19 strikeouts from the fastball alone this season, second in the majors to only Shelby Miller.
And Harvey has shown the ability to ramp up the velocity as the situations get tougher.
With the bases empty, his average fastball velocity is 94.6 MPH. With runners in scoring positions and two outs, he's bumped that average velocity to 95.5 MPH.
In his last start, Friday against Strasburg, Harvey had some of his best heat. His average fastball sat at 97.2 MPH.
Matt Harvey by Pitch Type This Season
...and sets up the changeup...
That fastball really sets up the changeup, which averages 86.3 MPH, a difference of more than eight MPH from his average fastball.
Only seven starters have a bigger difference between their average fastball and changeup.
...to go with a hard slider
And his slider is nearly as devastating.
Batters are just 1-19 in at-bats ending against Harvey's slider this season, striking out on it an astonishing 41 percent of the time.
It's the highest strikeout rate of any of his pitches, with the fastball second and the changeup third.
Key matchups against the Dodgers
Carl Crawford is hitting .385 (5-13) with a .923 OPS against changeups this season.
Crawford is having early success this season by laying off pitches outside the strike zone. His chase rate is down to 20 percent this season after hovering in the mid-30s in each of the last four seasons.
Likewise, Matt Kemp is hitting .375 (3-8) with an .875 OPS against changeups this season, his best numbers against any pitch. Overall, Kemp is batting .247 with an OPS of .594 this April.
That's a steep decline from last April when he batted .417 with a 1.383 OPS.