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Baffled Bryce Harper says Matt Harvey will one day win Cy Young Award

matt-harvey

There isn’t much Bryce Harper can say after once again being left baffled by Matt Harvey during the teams’ game Thursday other than to concede that the New York Mets ace is back and better than ever.

The Washington Nationals slugger went hitless in his plate appearances against Harvey in a 6-3 loss, striking out three times. Harper now is 0-for-10 with five strikeouts in his career against Harvey. Afterward, Harper had nothing but praise for the pitcher.

“He is always good. Taking a year off, it’s just a setback that he had. Fortunately, he is going to come back and do what he does,” Harper said, via MLB.com. “We saw it in Spring Training. He did very well in Spring Training. He came back today. He did what he had to do. He shut us down.

“He is tough out there. I said it a million times. He is going to win a Cy Young [Award] one day. Everybody knows that. It’s one of the toughest at-bats I’ve ever had. He is very tough out there. He is a very good pitcher.”

Harper’s high praise for Harvey almost exactly echoed the sentiments he expressed earlier in the week when asked to discuss what he expected in the upcoming showdown with a pitcher who missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery.

“Cy Young,” Harper said Monday afternoon, via The Washington Post. “That guy is one of the best guys in the league.”

Harvey toyed with the entire Nationals lineup in his first start since Aug. 24, 2013, giving up zero runs while spreading around four hits over six innings, striking out nine and yielding only one walk on 91 pitches. A tidy start, to say the least.

Harvey, meanwhile, responded in kind to Harper’s praise.

“Against him, you have to be fine. He’s a huge challenge,” he said, via the New York Post. “And a couple of times he came up, there were runners on base. So that makes it even more important that you concentrate on what you have to do.”

Harvey said after the game just how great of an experience it was to get back on the mound and perform well.

“I don’t know if I could have drawn it up any better,” he said.

(photo credit: Alex Brandon/Associated Press)