Mack’s Morning Report – 5-31-16 – Matt Harvey, Game Analysis, Jeurys Familia


Good morning.

It’s both Memorial and Harvey Day in my house today and I’m looking forward to watching the progress (regress) of Harvey on his attempts to get back on the horse.

None of us, trying to live with long term injures to our starting catcher (Travis d’Arnaud), first baseman (Lucas Duda) and third baseman (David Wright), have any pre-conceived notions about the offense of this team, nor do any of us disagree with the statement that, if we didn’t’ hit home runs and have the current top four pitchers in the rotation, we’d be fighting out with Atlanta for fifth place in this division.

I’ve said for years that the Mets are first a pitcher’s team and I’m not sure they can make their way back to the World Series without a complete turnaround of where The Dark Knight is heading.

In Monday’s game. Harvey’s first inning went 1-2-3 with his fastball at a steady 96-mph. He also had some sharp movement on his pitches, especially the sink on his last one for his first strikeout.

Inning two elevated Harvey’s velocity on two fastballs that hit 98. He also had a sick 92 slider.

In the third, Harvey’s fastball was reduced in the 95-96 range, but his control was close to perfect and he ended the inning with a 98 heater. Perfect through three innings (4-Ks).

In the fourth, a 91-slider produced his fifth strikeout. 96-fastball got him strikeout number six. Another 1-2-3 inning. Only thing close to criticism at this point would be his inability to locate to the inside of the zone. Other than that, he’s been close to perfect.

Harvey reaches the dreaded fifth inning, holding down a perfect game. Second batter ruins the perfect game with a single. Fans holding their breath as Harvey goes to the stretch for the first time.

His velocity actually increased to 98… Wilmer Flores made a fabulous catch at first place for an inning ending double play, returning Harvey to facing the minimal amount of batters once can face (15 batters in five innings).
(you start to worry around now because the score is 0-0 and the Mets are showing no chance to support at the plate what Harvey is producing today)
The sixth brought more of the same and the seventh represented the first time he pitched in the seventh inning this season; however, he started out the inning with a walk which was quickly followed by a no-out single.
The Mets quickly got the pen up.

Interesting was the velocity of his fastball had dropped into the 93-94 range, but a bunt produced the first out and a pop out got out number two. A grounder to short brought a standing ovation for Harvey right before the singing of God Bless America. Perfect.

The day ended a total winner. Even Jeurys Familia pitched well.

The chances that Harvey could return to the rotation as a positive factor could change everything for this team.

Dan Martin on Jeurys Familia

“I have to try to figure out what I’m doing wrong,” Familia said. “Everybody goes through hard times. You try to move forward. Tomorrow is a new day.”

Granderson believes getting Familia back on the mound in a save situation — something neither of the last two outings were — will help.

“The good thing is his velocity is good, his movement is good,” Granderson said. “He just happens to be getting hit. Hopefully things change quickly.”

Mack – This was a tough loss in a great game. I’d love to see Familia’s stats on non-save situations verses save situations. My guess is Granderson is right about what he is saying.

Yesterday was a first good step back.


Tom Brennan said...

Great to see Harvey throwing gas. May he now compete from here on out to be the best starter in the rotation.

The Loney era begins today. May he actually hit.

Last year, there were several sub types who, before Johnson and Uribe arrived, were hitting something like .180 combined over several hundred at bats.

This year, subs Plawecki, deAza, Flores, Reynolds, Kelly, Campbell, and Rivera have 308 combined at bats and are hitting an incredibly low .172, with just 5 HR, 19 RBI, and 83 Ks. Which leads one to ask: WHAT THE HECK IS IT WITH THIS TEAM THAT THE SUBS CAN'T HIT WHATSOEVER???? These have to be the two worst batches of offensive subs in back to back years in Mets history in terms of performance.

I would send down Kelly and Campbell and recall TJ Rivera to join Loney. Find SOMEONE who can hit.

Anonymous said...

Rivera has been a tremendous asset and should be the regular catcher at this point, as Plawecki cannot hit and does not offer the defensive upside of a Rivera.

But Tom, it is you who is always crowing about the Mets tremendous minor league system. If it's so good, where are the replacements?

But I'd also say that Loney is the right move. Young unestablished players, filled with self-doubt, do not make good bench players. Teams are better off going with veterans on the downside of their careers, former full-time starters, who are better adapted to more rest. They have all that history under their belt. That's what we saw last season with the addition of Johnson and Uribe. Bringing up scrubs who have never, ever had success in the ML level -- and then expecting them to succeed in fill-in roles -- just doesn't compute.

But, that said, yes of TJ Rivera. He's earned this shot.

Jimmy P

Zozo said...

They are going to have to drop someone off the 40 man roster to make room for Loney. I believe it should be Kelly.

Brian Joura said...

Baseball-Reference has the split for Saves/Non-Saves situation. Here are the numbers for Familia:

Saves -- 1.59 ERA, 0.824 WHIP, 7.0 K/BB
Non Sv - 8.64 ERA, 2.400 WHIP, 1.80 K/BB

Mack Ade said...

Thanks Brian -

I should have remembered they were there.

The difference is amazing and speaks volumes to never bringing him in under non-save situations.

And yet, TC still does.

Anonymous said...


Numbers be damned, I still like it when managers bring in their closers in tie games, especially when they are away. Beats losing with your best reliever in mothballs.

But yes, no more 4-run leads with Familia on the mound. Though sometimes there are mitigating factors. A late run in the 8th, after he's already up and warm, etc.

Great pitchers go through rough spots. I think we're seeing a statistical blip based on those two bad outings, wildly inflating that ERA, telling a story that really isn't significant.

Jimmy P

Hobie said...

Agree with Thomas; there is no offense off the bench and half the bench is starting!.

R.Rivera's defense and receiving savvy have significant value and given what Plaw is producing, should get the bulk of the starts. I'm even giving him some of the credit for the Harvey/Famila rebound. But Campbell, Kelly & De Aza have not given shown a glimpse of promise. If I could trade de Aza for some MnL fodder, I would. (There's one 40-man slot). The 60-day for Duda (Wright?) would be another--alas, I on't think we'll see a productive captain for a while.

TJ is now playing LF too for Davy (.374, 2/3last night). Is that significant? I am trying to think of the last UDFA farmhand who was given any major PT in Queens. The one who came to mind was Kevin Mitchell who's MnL career mimicked TJ's in versatility, but lagged significantly in production.

So if Lony=Heep and TJ=Mitchell, suddenly we have a bench. wdyt?

Tom Brennan said...

James, I have been wrong on our minor leaguers coming up and hitting. I just wonder if it is partially NY Mets pressure that does it - would these guys do as bad if they were in Milwaukee? They have to be aware that, when previous sub-type guys were called up, all have failed. must wonder if they will be the next to fail. That said, Kelly is a career .280 minor leaguer, and TJ Rivera has hit .342 since the start of 2014. TJ should get a chance. He seems to me like a Jeff Keppinger clone, and Jeff did just fine.

I disagree, though, on Familia in non-save situations if Addison Reed or even Henderson, two former closers pitching very well in non-save situations are ready to go. Had they broken the bank and signed Chapman as I wanted to, our pen would be lethal - and flexible. I wanted Murphy, not Duda, for 1B and Chapman added. Had we done that, we'd have 6-8 more wins.

Tom Brennan said...

Hobie, I agree. TJ and Loney - you need to do something to shore up this Jekyll and Hyde offense. Those two are surely worth a real try.

Remember that this is the first year TJ has hit middle of order - and he is averaging an RBI per game. So it is not a fluff .380.

Anonymous said...

Speed never goes in slumps.
Missing power in the lineup and no speed in the lineup, we better get used to 1-0 games! And praying for a HR
Loney is a nice addition but, Sandy needs to find some speedsters, to atleast be able to manufacture runs


Tom Brennan said...

How about....Jose Reyes for 3B, assuming we'll never have Wright healthy for very long. Might be cheap, and he still has some speed.

Robb said...

few notes:

1. so much for Plawecki wally Pip-ing D'A. you just have to let rivera start with Thor and Harvey at the moment

2. TJ Rivera will have to be added to the 40 man next year at which point he will replace Soup as the guy you want to be more then he is, bc he rakes in the minors. I imagine there is a statistical breakdown of what in MLB they project rivera to produce vs soup and the difference either positive or negative does not justify having to expose him and lose 5 years of shuffling him up and down. its just business. the cost doesnt justify the potential exposure nor the added value it may produce vs what is currently there

3. Wheeler turned 26 and threw off the mound. its amazing that each of those pitchers are going to be 28 (degrom), 27 (harvey), 26 (wheeler), 25 (matz), 23 (thor) in Spetember.

Tom Brennan said...

Having heard nothing recent, Zach Wheeler should be showing up in minor league games soon. For all I know, he may already be throwing in intrasquad "games" in St Lucie. Since spring training is about six weeks, he must be starting to ramp up right now. Exciting thought.

Anonymous said...

Tom, your plan of Murphy & Chapman sounds fine, but remember that Chapman is a slimeball and sat for 30 games. In addition, there's no room for Cespedes on your payroll.

I don't see the addition of 6-8 games. Might be a loss, actually, since Walker has played very well.

That said: I do think your Murphy to 1B idea was strong and innovative. I've always been a big fan of Danny Murphy and valued his flexibility and ball-in-play ability. That's a ship that has long since sailed.

Jimmy P

Reese Kaplan said...

I was screaming at the TV on Sunday when the moron-in-chief did nothing as Familia put the 2nd man on. Then when the bases were loaded I thought, "Hey, even a blind man can see he's not got it today" but Skipper proved me wrong. He couldn't see it. Then he left him in to face Gonzalez and the rest was dismal history.

I can understand riding the horse that brung ya...but after the Friday debacle and a VERY shaky follow up on tap Sunday, a THINKING manager would have tried to win the game.

Tom Brennan said...

Some times your closer needs relief, Reese, you are so right.

James, I get the budget restraints, but let's say Murphy and Chapman cost $20 million more than the current plan. I think we win 100 games easy, are more likely to win a world series, and they'd make up that $20 million in increased revenues and increased franchise value. Chapman being a sleazeball or not, he'd electrify the bullpen and our fans who are quick to forgive.

And I just was afraid Duda would continue the 25-30 homers (nice), .240 (not nice), streakiness ( not nice), and poor clutch hitting (not nice). Why I wanted what seemed like the new, improved and much more consistent hitter in Murphy.

IB said...

Wholeheartedly agree on the positive feedback on Rene Rivera. He seems to contribute every day - they're a stronger team with him behind the plate.

Harvey looked sharp. Great to see. I went straight to the NY Post this morning looking for Mike Vaccarro's inevitable Matt Harvey puff piece. Must be his day off........

Tom Brennan said...

My brother Steve and I remember having Super Joe McEwing and being kind of dissatisfied with him, as a typical Met player - low power etc. What we'd give for him now, a sub who actually hit .251 for his career. Come back, Super Joe.

Stubby said...

No one's a bigger fan of Rene Rivera than me. I was the one who rushed to defend him, here, when he'd been labeled the Hispanic Anthony Recker. But, if and when Travis is healthy, he's your starting catcher. You want to experiment with him in the off-season, fine. But you don't start throwing him all over the diamond in the middle of a pennant race. I haven't checked this year's totals but, last year (give or take a game), the Mets were 41-26 with Travis in the lineup--a '612 winning percentage--and just 49-46 without him. Yes, you could keep his bat in the lineup moving him elsewhere, but then you're subtracting something else from the mix.

Nor am I ready to give up on Plawecki, though--when Travis is back--I've got no problem sending him down to play everyday.

I love me some Rene Rivera, but his best role is back-up catcher. Starting or not, his batting average will finish about where it is now (.148). Can you live with that? Just askin'.

Tom Brennan said...

If nobody else is hitting uunder. 200, I can definitely live with Rene Rivera as back up. Meanwhile, nice guy Anthony Recker is hitting. 226 in AAA with a K every 3.2 PA. Another good decision to part ways.

Dallas said...

Campbell got the bounce for Loney. Wright to stick for now, but not playing next few games.

Tom Brennan said...

TJ Rivera is one step closer. Doubt we will see Campbell back for a while

Tom Brennan said...

TJ Rivera is one step closer. Doubt we will see Campbell back for a while

Anonymous said...

Has Recker had his woman-like body fixed yet? He needs to fix that as much as his game.

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