Washington Nationals: Meet Matt Harvey and the Mets

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 18: Matt Harvey
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 18: Matt Harvey /
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Any chance the Mets have making noise this fall depends on Matt Harvey.

Harvey’s debut Tuesday against the Phillies was encouraging for New York fans. After two years of painful starts, he kept Philadelphia in check for five innings. In scattering a hit and walk with five strikeouts, the “Dark Knight” gave signs of his return to Broadway via Queens.

His bigger test comes Sunday night. With a tougher lineup, Washington promises to challenge where Harvey stands in his comeback. Although the Mets are not expecting a return to his 2015 pennant-winning performance, an ERA around 3.25 with 30 starts this year would draw champagne corks.

Under the harsh spotlight of ESPN, it is important for Washington to grind out at-bats and make Harvey work. Brooks Baseball had his fastball topping out at 94 against the Phillies with a slider and change as his backup pitches. In modern terms that is slow.

The Phillies put balls in the air against him. A good sign for the Nats. Another point, it will be cold. No one is comfortable pitching in the low-40s. For Harvey, gripping the ball and getting movement on a night better suited for October is tough.

When not pitching against the Nats, root for him. Injuries cut down a promising career, and that is a shame.