Mets starter Matt Harvey was charged with five runs in just 3 1/3 innings during a loss Wednesday.
"It's kind of hard to take any positives out of the last two years," Harvey said after the game. "It's extremely frustrating. It's hard going out there and not doing what I can to help this team win. All in all, it's just extremely frustrating. That's really all you can say about tonight."
Harvey, who threw 86 pitches and allowed seven hits and four walks, had surrendered just two runs heading into the fourth inning, after which Hansel Robles allowed three inherited runs to score.
"It's been very hard, a very tough year, a very tough two years," Harvey added. "There's a lot of work going in that's not paying off, and it's becoming very frustrating for me."
In his three starts since returning from a scapula injury in his right shoulder, Harvey has allowed 14 runs in just 10 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who dealt with thoracic outlet syndrome a season ago, is still a work-in-progress, according to manager Terry Collins.
"He's frustrated, I don't think there's any question," Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters. "I think you set the bar as high as he has … it's going to be hard. It's going to be tough, but he can handle it. He's a tough kid. Nobody knows what the road back was going to be like. There's no real set experience with a lot of guys that have had this. Especially when you were as powerful as he was, to try to come back from this is going to take a little bit of time...
"We've tried to get him to understand this is a process and it's not going to happen overnight and to have a little patience with it all as he's coming back," Collins said. "The strength is coming back, the arm speed is coming back. It's just going to take a little time to tie it all together."
In 16 starts, Harvey has a 6.14 ERA and has pitched beyond the sixth inning just four times.
Matthew Cerrone (Twitter | Instagram | About Me): Matt is going to be hard on himself because that's who Matt is, he has super-high expectations of himself and it's part of what made him so awesome when younger, healthier, and more powerful. The thing is, as I kept saying at the start of the season, Harvey is not 24 years old anymore. He's 28 and has been through two major surgeries, one of which (TOS) has no clear road map for recovery.
That said (and this goes for every pitcher to ever take a mound), if Matt isn't able to blow people away with a high-90s fastball and similar devastating slider, he'll have to have significantly better command and a more flexible approach than he's shown since returning from the disabled list. He (like countless pitchers before him) can be super successful throwing only 94 mph. This is fine. Instead, his problem isn't that he can't throw 98 mph, it's that he's still pitching a 98-mph game.
In other words, because Harvey is clearly still playing a game based on strikeouts (even though he says he isn't), the result is him throwing a ton of pitches, getting too many foul balls, working in deep counts, and exhausting himself every inning. This is not sustainable or effective. And, obviously, he knows this based on his reaction when talking to reporters after last night's game.
The thing is, it's early. Harvey is only three starts in to his most recent return, and only 16 starts beyond TOS surgery, during which he likely questioned whether he'd ever pitch again. I realize he has high standards and expectations. But, thankfully for him, the Mets are not going to the postseason.
For all intents and purposes, this is early spring training, during which Matt should be working on his 'stuff,' mechanics, toying around with new a approach and strategies, and cutting himself some slack on the results. He is not going through an easy process. It's OK to fail sometimes, especially if it means enabling himself (and the Mets) to be more successful in the future...