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Matt Harvey's Debut In Mets Historical Context

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Harvey Face?
Harvey Face?

As you may have already heard, Matt Harvey made his major league debut for the Mets last night and threw five-and-one-third very impressive innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks. With eleven strikeouts, Harvey broke the Mets' record for strikeouts in a major league debut. The previous record was eight, held by Tom Seaver and Bill Denehy, who accomplished the feat three days apart in 1967.

Harvey was just the fourteenth pitcher in team history to record six or more strikeouts in his major league debut, and his start last night compares favorably to most of the others.

Player Date IP H ER SO BB GSc
Matt Harvey 2012-07-26 5.1 3 0 11 3 70
Bill Denehy 1967-04-16 6.1 3 2 8 6 61
Tom Seaver 1967-04-13 5.1 6 2 8 4 52
Masato Yoshii 1998-04-05 7.0 3 0 7 1 77
Randy Tate 1975-04-14 8.0 5 3 7 3 64
Brent Strom 1972-07-31 6.2 2 1 7 4 67
Paul Wilson 1996-04-04 6.0 6 3 6 2 52
Jason Isringhausen 1995-07-17 7.0 2 2 6 2 69
Jason Jacome 1994-07-02 6.0 8 2 6 2 52
Ron Darling 1983-09-06 6.1 5 1 6 1 64
Brent Gaff 1982-07-07 7.2 8 0 6 2 61
Roy Lee Jackson 1977-09-13 5.2 6 3 6 3 48
Les Rohr 1967-09-19 6.0 6 2 6 3 53
Rob Gardner 1965-09-01 3.0 6 5 6 1 28

Harvey's game score of 70 ranks second among the debuts, trailing Masato Yoshii, who did not strike out as many as Harvey but threw 1.2 innings more — hence the better number.

But Harvey's success in his debut did not only come from the mound. He went 2-for-2 with a single and a double, and according to Elias, he is the first pitcher since 1900 to record ten or more strikeouts while notching two hits in a big league debut.