Harvey confounds radar gun in strong start

Ace right-hander hits 97 (and 47) in four-inning start vs. Miami

March 13th, 2016

JUPITER, Fla. -- Spring Training scoreboards are notorious for their inconsistent velocity readings, on those occasions when the radar guns even work at all. So Matt Harvey couldn't help but laugh when he looked up Sunday after throwing a fastball, in his words, "as hard as I could," then watching it register at 47 mph.
"I don't know how hard it was," Harvey said after delivering four shutout innings in an 11-0 win over the Marlins on Sunday, before adding: "But I'm pretty happy with where things are."
No worries, Matt -- the velocity is there. Scouts' radar guns pegged Harvey at 97 mph in Sunday's game, and that wasn't necessarily the impressive part. To strike out Christian Yelich in the first inning, Harvey delivered a devilish, 91-mph two-strike slider -- the exact type of pitch he has been working all spring to fine-tune, and that he appears now to have in midseason form.
Spring:Tickets | Ballpark | 40-man roster | NRIs
Such is the nature of Spring Training for Harvey, who can shrug off the big things -- health, velocity -- in favor of the little ones. In his first Grapefruit League start last week, for example, Harvey focused on increasing his extension, allowing him to generate more snap on his pitches. Sunday, Harvey worked to stand taller on the mound, perfecting his mechanics.

"It's always about getting better command of everything," manager Terry Collins said. "He'll continue to do that. He's got some more starts still where he's going to use all his pitches."
There's still room for improvement, in other words, even if that room is shrinking. Through two Spring Training starts, Harvey is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and five strikeouts in seven innings. Both outings came against teams -- the Braves and Marlins -- fielding lineups representative of what they'll use on Opening Day. So for all this fine-tuning, the Mets remain quite pleased with what Harvey has been able to accomplish already this spring.
"He's doing what he's supposed to be doing, moving the ball around, using his fastball, good changeups today," Collins said. "He's right on pace."