On a day when the Dark Knight displayed his former 98 mph fastball, he was outdueled in the Miami sun by his counterpart, Jose Fernandez, who matched his career high 14 strikeouts en route to a 1-0 master piece over the Mets.
A resurgent Matt Harvey kept his cronies in the game for seven strong innings, but they didn’t uphold their end of the bargain with bats so silent you could hear a pin drop in the Marlin’s ballpark.
And although the offense of yesterday’s game was lost, the positive piece of Harvey’s cryptic pitching puzzle hopefully has been found.
The wrapped too tight right-hander gave up a run in the pesky 5th inning that has previously haunted him – and not to take away from Fernandez’s dominance, but it was just the roll of the dice that today, the Marlin’s ace was undeniably better.
The two Tommy John repaired pitching arms scattered nine hits between them, giving a ringing endorsement to the surgeons who gave them new life on the mound.
In light of this disappointing defeat, Terry Collins has to be over the moon at Harvey’s consecutive two game turnaround, extending his scoreless inning streak to 12, giving up only one run over his last 14.
Harvey, while pleased with his performance of late, is being especially cautious of any premature champagne popping celebration.
“It’s still two starts,” Harvey said. “Obviously, the massive struggles that happened before, the only thing you want to think of is not letting that creep back in. Today was, you could say, a second step from the last start. Obviously, going deep into the game and feeling pretty good, it’s a positive.”
Positive indeed, for a guy who a couple of weeks ago couldn’t pitch his way out of a paper bag, or deter the demons of the diamond from messing with his mentally and mechanically challenged head.