Scenes from the end of a losing streak:
• Matt Harvey striking out 11 in five-and-a-third shutout innings.
• Matt Harvey showing command of multiple pitches.
• Matt Harvey oozing poise and maturity.
One night in Phoenix and the world’s our oyster.
For one night, anyway.
Per the epidemic of being cautioned against what I’m not supposed to read into the debut outing of a promising pitcher (because Mets fans have zero experience with being let down and thus must have things explained to them as if they just woke up and decided to become Mets fans), I pencil Matt Harvey in for no more than his next start and a hearty “we’ll see.”
Pencils have erasers, Bob Murphy was fond of reminding us, yet you can’t erase what we just saw, no matter what follows, which itself is wholly unknowable and only moderately projectable…even if what we just saw was wholly remarkable and intensely satisfying.
(And why would you want to erase it anyway? When a transcendent pitching performance drops from the heavens into your lap, I recommend cherishing it rather than eyeing it suspiciously as if it’s a prop from an “if you see something, say something” PSA.)
I’m a maestro with facts, figures and context from the past but a perpetual novice where the future is concerned. I don’t get caught up in prospects because they so lack certainty. Precedent lingers in the subconscious to confirm that disconcerting aspect of the Metsopotamian condition. I can truly believe only what I’ve seen and and consider the hint-laden breadcrumbs it leaves behind.
What I saw for five-and-a-third innings hints at hoping the kid can and is allowed to go six next time. That much, I am certain, projects as something to see.