A 'definite fan' of Harvey, Doc in attendance Tuesday
NEW YORK -- Though Dwight Gooden makes a point of watching most of Matt Harvey's starts on television, he had only seen Harvey pitch once in person before attending Tuesday's Subway Series game against the Yankees at Citi Field. In that meeting with Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals, Harvey escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning to preserve his victory.
"Most young pitchers at that time would try to overthrow a little bit when they throw in the upper-90s," Gooden said. "But he stayed with his game plan, mixed his pitches well and got out of it."
Gooden has yet to actually sit down and talk to Harvey, the Mets phenom whose run of success has drawn comparisons to his own blaze of glory in the mid '80s. But he watches most of Harvey's games, usually interacting with fans on Twitter while he does so.
"I'm a definite fan," Gooden said. "The things he's doing are truly amazing. If he stays healthy, he should have an unbelievable career. Right now, he would have my vote to start the All-Star Game."
More than anyone, Gooden also understands the pitfalls of being a young phenom in New York. Already generating headlines off the field for his supermodel girlfriend and kinship with the NHL's Rangers, Harvey has spent most of this season dealing with incessant media requests and the trappings of New York City celebrity.
Being 24 years old and college-educated, Gooden said, should help Harvey stay more grounded than he did in the '80s, when his personal life quickly spiraled out of control. But Gooden noted that Harvey should also be able to appreciate his time in the limelight.
"I think the main thing is just to enjoy the moment," Gooden said. "Remember what it took to get here and just take it in stride, and just keep working hard, and keep the focus on baseball."