Tracking Matt Harvey's Season: Start #20

Jim McIsaac

Matt Harvey was dominant in his seven-inning performance against the Phillies on Sunday.

There's not a hitter in baseball who would have wanted to face Matt Harvey on Sunday afternoon. In one of his best starts yet, Harvey struck out ten, walked none, and did not allow a run to score in seven innings. The content below may not be safe for work.

PITCHf/x DATA (via Brooks Baseball)

Pitch Type Avg Speed Max Speed Count Strikes / % Whiffs / %
FA (Fastball) 98.34 100.87 64 43 / 67.19% 12 / 18.75%
SI (Sinker) 97.33 97.67 2 1 / 50.00% 0 / 0.00%
CH (Changeup) 88.97 91.07 14 10 / 71.43% 5 / 35.71%
SL (Slider) 91.61 93.80 19 12 / 63.16% 3 / 15.79%
CU (Curveball) 86.39 87.84 13 9 / 69.23% 3 / 23.08%

Harvey's stuff was perhaps as good as it's ever been. His fastball averaged 98.34 mph. Averaged. And it topped out at 100.87 mph. His slider averaged over 91 mph. And he wasn't just throwing hard, either. He generated 23 swinging strikes on 112 pitches, a 20.5 percent rate that's just absurd.

Here's how the pitches looked on a strike zone plot. Again, so many swinging strikes.

GIFs

Strikeout 1: Domonic Brown, swinging

Strikeout 2: Delmon Young, swinging

Strikeout 3: Eric Kratz, swinging

Strikeout 4: Cliff Lee, swinging

Strikeout 5: Jimmy Rollins, swinging

Alternate angle

Strikeout 6: Domonic Brown, swinging

Strikeout 7: Kevin Frandsen, swinging

Strikeout 8: John Mayberry, looking

Strikeout 9: Eric Kratz, swinging

Strikeout 10: Domonic Brown, swinging

WHERE HARVEY RANKS IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE

Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright remain Harvey's main competition for the Cy Young award this year. Kershaw has the ERA lead for now, but Harvey has been better in strikeout, walk, and home run rates than the Dodgers' veteran ace. Wainwright has been even better than Harvey in walk and home run rates, but he's trailing a bit in ERA and a big step back in strikeout rate. Harvey isn't a shoe-in, but he'd have a strong case to win the award if voting took place today.

ERA FIP K% BB% SwStr%
Harvey 2.23 2.07 29.9 5.3 13.1
NL Rank 3rd 1st 1st 8th 1st
NL Avg. SP 3.91 3.86 18.8 7.3 8.7

HARVEY IN METS HISTORICAL CONTEXT

Speaking of the Cy Young race, Harvey's season still compares very nicely to three of the Mets' previous Cy Young seasons. That he's closer to the number of Tom Seaver than R.A. Dickey through twenty starts speaks volumes about just how good he's been.

Pitcher (Year) IP ERA K BB GSc
Matt Harvey (2013) 137.0 2.23 157 28 66
R.A. Dickey (2012) 139.1 2.97 139 30 62
Dwight Gooden (1985) 155.2 1.68 153 43 70
Tom Seaver (1973) 160.2 2.02 138 37 68
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