A few miles to the west, the Knicks were getting even with the Pacers while a few miles to the east, the Islanders were in a dogfight with the Penguins. But amidst all this playoff frenzy, eyeballs and Twitter handles were redirected to Citi Field. Matt Harvey was at it again, this time flirting with perfection.
If not for an infield single by the Alex Rios of the White Sox with two outs in the seventh — he beat Ruben Tejada’s terrific throw off a ball deep in the hole by less than half a step — Harvey would have been perfect. At least through nine.* Because what made this game all the more memorable, in typical Mets fashion, was that the home team failed two score until Mike Baxter’s pinch hit sent Ike Davis home in the tenth inning to edge Chicago, 1-0.
So what if Harvey really had been perfect through nine of a scoreless game? Does Terry Collins leave him in for the tenth and risk damage(real or imagined) to his young ace’s arm? Sound familiar? Where’s Johan? Oh, there he is, in street clothes. How’s the shoulder, Johan? Or is it your elbow?
I’m sure that Collins is glad he did not have to face such a quandary, but Mets fans can forever laugh (or cry) themselves silly thinking about it.
For a guy who is basically in his first full season in the majors, Harvey is scary good. Not as electric as Doc Gooden, but more – dare I say it — like a young Tom Seaver. Powerful. Smart. In control. preternaturally poised. A born ace. Now, I compare nobody to Tom Seaver and Harvey has quite a ways to go before he can authentically be considered in a class with Number 41, but he’s all I really have now to root for with this sorry team. So I won’t hide my excitement and enthusiasm for a guy who, like Tom Terrific, may lead the Mets to greener pastures in a few years.
Wishful thinking perhaps, but what Harvey has shown in just the first five weeks of the season has me hopeful that at least every five days this summer, I’ll have something to look forward to.
Now if only they can score some runs for him. Seaver could relate to that.