Sportress of Blogitude

Matt Harvey amid rumors of losing spot in rotation: ‘I’m a starting pitcher’

Matt Harvey’s continued struggles have led to reports that he has at best a tenuous hold on his spot in the New York Mets’ starting rotation. A defiant Harvey, following his latest poor outing Thursday, nevertheless insisted he remains a “starting pitcher.”

Harvey is now 0-2 on the season after Thursday’s start in which he surrendered six earned runs on eight hits over six innings in the Mets’ 12-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Harvey now has a 6.00 ERA in four starts this season.

In light of the struggles, Mets manager declined to commit to Harvey making his next scheduled start.

“We haven’t made that determination yet,” Callaway said, via ESPN. “We’ll see moving forward. I’m not sure what we’re going to do.”

Despite the uncertainty, Harvey said after the game he still believes he’s worthy of a spot in the rotation.

“I’m a starting pitcher,” Harvey said. “I’ve always been a starting pitcher. That’s my mindset.”

Harvey did retire 11 of the last 12 batters he faced Thursday. But a two-run homer surrendered to Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki in the first inning essentially set the tone for the start. Harvey was left encouraged, however, with how he ended his time on the mound.

“That last three innings I think I was able to break through that mental block I was feeling every time I went out there,” Harvey said. “I know that the results aren’t there. I feel bad that it took me so long to figure it out.”

Harvey clearly does not exhibit the same aura — nor the results — frequently on display during his heyday as the “Dark Knight.” And this season’s slow slow start follows two injury-plagued campaigns in 2016 and 2017 when he made only 35 combined starts.

Harvey’s regression in which he went from being considered among the top pitchers in baseball to simply fighting for a chance to remain a starter has been long and agonizing ordeal for the 29-year-old onetime ace. But is Harvey’s spot in the Mets’ rotation truly in jeopardy? That remains to be seen.