Win-loss record for a pitcher is one of the most overrated statistics in baseball. There are better numbers to measure a pitcher’s performance than how many games he wins and losses. New York Mets ace Matt Harvey knows this all too well.
Harvey had a no-decision in eight of his previous nine starts, with the Mets having scored just 18 runs while he’s been on the mound during that time span. During Harvey’s six career losses, the Mets have tallied a total of three runs with him in the game and seven runs overall in those contests.
Harvey won each of his first four starts of the season, thanks in part to the offense averaging 6.5 runs per game. Since that stretch ended on April 19, Harvey has continued his dominance, but the run support has been lacking. On Thursday, it was non-existent.
Harvey turned in another stellar performance against the National League Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, allowing just one run and five hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts and a walk against arguably the league’s most potent offense. But the Mets’ (24-37) bats once again failed to deliver for Harvey, stymied by Cardinals (43-23) ace Adam Wainwright (10-3), resulting in a 2-1 loss before a crowd of 25,471 at Citi Field.
It marked Harvey’s first loss since Sept 12, ending a 14-game unbeaten streak. During his last loss, which occurred in his second-to-last start of the 2012 campaign, Harvey also fell victim of offensive despair. He held the Washington Nationals to just one run on five hits while registering 10 strikeouts and three walks in five innings of a 2-0 defeat.
His first defeat this year came during his 14th start, a franchise record to begin a season. Harvey didn’t deserve the loss, though.
“I can’t control what the offense is doing,” said Harvey, who lowered his ERA to a 2.04, as reported by Scott Cacciola of The New York Times. “I don’t like to lose.”
Though Harvey doesn’t seem to be irritated by the lack of run support or wins, the rest of the team must be. With their season potentially spiraling out of control, the Mets cannot continue to squander these types of efforts from their best pitcher. Harvey provides their best chance to win every fifth day.
"The wins and losses don't mean anything to me,” Harvey said, as reported by Mike Puma of the New York Post. “It’s a matter of the team winning.”
If Harvey is going to string some victories together, he might need to toss a perfect game or no-hitter every time he takes the mound from here on out. Still, even that might not be enough.
“If I go seven zeros, we’re still playing the ballgame,” Harvey said, as reported by Ronald Blum of the Associated Press. “You really have to be locked in one through nine. “Today, I didn’t do my job and put up zeros, and I get the loss.”
Justin Silberman is a journalism and new media major at Towson University, located in Baltimore, and true Mets fan.