Harvey's Time Is Coming

Harvey will get his big league shot in 2012

BUFFALO, NY - Buffalo Bisons right-hander Matt Harvey may be new to Twitter, but the speculation that he could be the next Mets pitching call-up from Buffalo has led to an overwhelming flood of messages. So much so that Harvey has had to take a twitter break.

"It's all right," Harvey said, referring to the popular social media site. "I'm still trying to get the hang of it. People have been blowing it up the last couple of days, so I've been trying to stay away from it a little bit."

The excitement surrounding the Mets' top prospect in Buffalo has risen over the last week after Mets starter Dillon Gee went down with a blood clot in his pitching shoulder. Harvey could be in line to replace Gee, something the 23-year-old said he's prepared for.

"I do, I do," Harvey said, when asked if he felt ready for the majors. "My pitches are right where I want them to be."

While Harvey's name was tossed around as a possible call-up for the Mets' game against the Dodgers on Saturday, Miguel Batista will get the start. Harvey has to be patient, said Bisons' manager Wally Backman.

"Matt's going to be there," he said, referring to the Mets. "I talked to Matt about the decision a little bit, and he's a little disappointed by it, probably a lot by it, actually. Be patient, that's kind of what I told him."

Despite feeling ready for the big leagues, Harvey admitted he wasn't feeling quite right in his first start after the all-star break on July 16. Harvey pitched two innings over the span of 12 days before the game, with those two innings coming in the all-star game.

In his first start back against the Toledo Mud Hens, Harvey gave up four walks, three hits and two runs through 6 2/3 innings, despite allowing no hits through five innings. He also hit a batter. The twelve days off definitely had an impact, Harvey said.

"The twelve days off may have hurt a little bit, getting out of my routine," he said. "I obviously had a little discomfort on the mound, but that's kind of what I expected after twelve days not starting and only the two innings in the span of two weeks."

Harvey is taking the outing in stride, however.

"That's baseball," he said. "You're going to have days on the mound where you're not too comfortable, and you have to battle through it."

Sticking with his routine and developing a rhythm have been crucial to the success he's had this season, Harvey said, even after a bit of a slow start. So far this season, Harvey is 7-4, with a 3.34 ERA. He's given up 46 walks and has 106 strike outs.

"Obviously I wasn't happy after my first couple of starts," he said. "Once I figured it out, and got into a rhythm, everything pretty much worked out."

Figuring out a rhythm is hard to explain, Harvey said. It's something you feel.

"It's just getting locked in," he said. "It's getting into a rhythm and staying back over the rubber and repeating your delivery. My last couple of starts I've been able to do that. Like I said, those twelve days off may have hurt, but I battled through it."

Harvey was rewarded for the season he's putting together with a trip to the Triple-A All-Star Game. While not much of a trip, as the game was held in Buffalo, Harvey enjoyed the experience. He pitched two innings in the game and was named the star of the International League team.

"Obviously I couldn't be more happy with the all-star game and the success I had over the course of the three days," he said. "It was awesome, especially being here in Buffalo. It was a good experience, and the whole three days were a lot of fun."

Despite the whirlwind of speculation surrounding Harvey, he's intent on keeping his routine the same, and getting ready for his next start, regardless of where it is.

"It's just preparing for the next day, and preparing for the task at hand," he said. "Whether it's coming in and getting my running done, or coming in and throwing in the bullpen, you have to keep everything to a routine and stay with it. The decisions aren't made by me, nor do I want to make those decisions. The only thing I control is what I do in between starts."

While it's unknown when Harvey will start making his home starts at Citi Field, Backman is confident it will be sooner than later.

"It's his second full year in professional baseball, and his time is coming," he said. "When is it coming? It's coming sometime this year."

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