Matt Harvey's fastball hit 97 mph as he threw a season-high 10 strikeouts in the New York Mets' win over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
"I finally felt, the majority of the game, a lot more comfortable," said Harvey (3-4), who allowed two runs, four hits and two walks, throwing 102 pitches. "I was able to pound the zone, was able to throw all of my pitches."
In seven starts this season, Harvey is 3-4 with a 4.50 ERA through 40 innings, during which he has walked 13 batters and struck out 35.
"It's the best command I've seen him have this year so far," manager Terry Collins said. "It's what it's all about. He's got such good stuff. You saw it a lot early in the game. They're swinging early because they don't want to get behind. When he made pitches, he got easy outs. That's how he normally pitches."
He looked terrific early in the game, then started to struggle again. He now has a 1.61 ERA in the first through fourth innings, but an 11.25 ERA after that, and, he still hasn't pitched into the seventh inning.
His velocity was up, and that's good to see. He hit Kevin Plawecki's target all afternoon, especially painting corners with his slider. He didn't leave much over the plate, which is what plagued him his previous few starts. Most important: He was getting swings and misses. Granted, he faced a terrible San Diego lineup and benefitted from a baserunning mistake by the opposing pitcher, but I'll take what we can get.
It stinks his next start will be in Colorado this Friday because that ballpark has a way of messing up minds and mechanics. After talking for six starts, Harvey looked like Harvey. And now, he has to go pitch in Coors Field, where he's never a made start during his brief career. Anyway, I'll worry about that later in the week.