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Entries in Matt Harvey (5)


Fernandez, Harvey Bring More than Just Heat

Youth and power will be on display in Queens this afternoon, as Miami's Jose Fernandez (9.1 K/9, 115 ERA+) squares off against the Mets' Matt Harvey (9.7 K/9, 171 ERA+). The 20-year-old Fernandez and Harvey, 24, are best known for their scorching fastballs, and for good reason. Both rank in the top five in fastball velocity, with Fernandez averaging 94.6 MPH with his heater and Harvey sitting at 94.9 MPH.

But these burgeoning aces bring more to the table than mere gas -- each has a wicked breaking pitch that's getting lots of awkward swings from batters.


For Fernandez, that complementary pitch is a curveball, thrown 29% of the time, that ranges anywhere from 76 MPH to 85 MPH. While many pitchers use their breaking stuff to coax hitters into chasing off the plate, Fernandez floods the strike zone with his curve. He has thrown 59% of his curveballs over the plate, the highest rate among starters who have thrown the pitch at least 200 times this season.

Opponents haven't been able to touch Fernandez's breaker -- they're slugging .275 against the curveball, about 75 points below the MLB average. The only starters to induce weaker contact with the curve are Chris Tillman (.154), A.J. Burnett (.188), Adam Wainwright (.202), Gio Gonzalez (.209), Stephen Strasburg (.209), Shelby Miller (.211) and James Shields (.242).

Fernandez's curveball location


The Dark Knight of Gotham, meanwhile, uses his power slider (averaging an MLB-best 89 MPH) to mow down right-handers. Harvey's slider, thrown 21% of the time, is more of a chase pitch than Fernandez's curve. He has placed his slider over the plate 41%, far below the 48% MLB average. However, Harvey is getting more swings on sliders thrown out of the zone (33%) than the MLB average (31%), and he's generating ground balls at a top-notch clip (58% of balls put in play, compared to the 47% average). Those chases and worm-burners have helped Harvey limit batters to a .242 slugging percentage against his slider, which ranks in the top ten lowest among NL starters and is over 100 points below the big league average (.349).

Another reason why Harvey's slider is so tough to hit is that he rarely catches the meat of the plate with the pitch. Just 13% of his sliders have been thrown to the horizontal middle of the strike zone, lowest among starters who have tossed the pitch at least 150 times.

Harvey's slider location


31 Stats for the 31 Days of May

  1. Marco Scutaro led the majors hitting .420 in May, Miguel Cabrera led the AL at .379.
  2. Pirates pitchers allowed only three homers with runners on base in May, the Blue Jays allowed 18.
  3. Pirate pitchers allowed the fewest extra base hits in May with 55. The Blue Jays the most with 111.
  4. Nationals pitchers issued only 53 walks in May, the fewest in the majors; Astros pitchers walked 113, Red Sox 108, and Giants 107.
  5. Everth Cabrera led the majors with 12 steals in May, Jacoby Ellsbury led the AL with 10.
  6. Tampa Bay Rays pitchers allowed 28 hits on 0-2 counts; Yankee and Cubs pitchers allowed just five.
  7. Baseball's successful steal rate in May was 73.2%, but the Rockies were 96% (24-of-25) successful while the Braves stole at rate of just 33% (2-of-6). The Astros stole 15 bases but were caught 13 times.
  8. The Astros' Robbie Grossman was 2-for-6 in steals in May, his four times CS were the most in the majors.
  9. Mike Napoli led the majors striking out 38 times in May, followed by Ryan Howard and Adam Dunn, 37 times each.
  10. Rangers outfielders slammed 17 homers in May, the most in the majors, while the Braves outfield hit only four.
  11. Miggy Cabrera led the majors with 33 RBI in May, Domonic Brown led the NL with 25.
  12. On the other hand, the Braves outfield struck out 99 times in May, the most in baseball, while the Baltimore outfield only whiffed 45 times.
  13. Patrick Corbin and Jason Vargas led all pitchers in May each going 5-0.
  14. Cole Hamels was 0-6 in May with a 4.95 ERA.
  15. Texas Rangers batters came through with 11 bases loaded hits in May, Arizona and Houston batters had only one each. Reds batters worked seven bases loaded walks in the month.
  16. Jose Bautista led the majors taking 119 called strikes in May. Matt Carpenter led the NL with 117, the same as Jason Kipnis of the Tribe.
  17. R.A. Dickey had three-ball counts on 83 batters in May, the most in the majors.
  18. Mark Reynolds of the Indians swung and missed 83 times in May, the most in the bigs, Ryan Howard was next with 72, the most in the NL.
  19. While Reynolds led the AL striking out swinging 31 times in May, the major league leaders were Howard and Matt Kemp with 32 each.
  20. Pirates lefty batters hit .071 against southpaws in May, Brewers lefties hit .377.
  21. Anibal Sanchez recorded the most strikeouts of any pitcher in May with 48, just edging Yu Darvish's 47, and teammate Max Scherzer's 45.
  22. The three best records in baseball in May belonged to NL Central teams: St. Louis 20-7 (.741), Cincinnati 19-8 (.704), and Pittsburgh 19-9 (.679).
  23. The Giants strike out rate was just 14.7% in May, the best in baseball. Reds batters didn't fair as well whiffing 24.6% of the time, the worst in baseball.
  24. Jon Lester led the majors throwing 689 pitches in May, Clayton Kershaw led the NL with 651.
  25. Twins batters took 28 called third strikes in May, the most of any team. The Giants were caught looking just seven times.
  26. Reds batters swung and missed on strike three 68 times in May to lead the majors, Red Sox batters went down swinging 66 times to lead the AL.
  27. Dept. of I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good: The MLB BAbip rate was .297 in May - The Cards had a .379 BAbip to lead the majors, the Red Sox had a rate of .356 to lead the AL.
  28. The Orioles and the Diamondbacks each had 11 hits on 0-2 counts in May, the Yankees had only one. The O's, Tigers, and Rangers each hit two 0-2 count homers.
  29. Matt Harvey went full on a batter only nine times in May.
  30. There were 15 pitchers who had a WHIP under 1.000 in May, but none was lower than Chris Sale's 0.677.
  31. In May, Jordan Zimmermann faced 171 batters, Bartolo Colon faced 149 batters, Adam Wainwright faced 141,  and Hiroki Kuroda faced 122 batters and they each only walked three.

A Latos, Harvey, Moore Mat(t)ch-up 

In honor of the May 22nd Mat Latos / Matt Harvey match-up, I decided a quick look at those two plus Matt Moore's numbers this season would be fun.

Mat Latos

  • Latos is 4-0 with a 2.97 ERA and a 0.723 WHIP.
  • Batters are hitting .247 against Latos.
  • He's walked 15 and whiffed 51.
  • He's allowed six homers.
  • Batters have missed on 24% of their swings.
  • The avg. velocity of his fastball is 91.3 mph maxing out at 95.5.


Matt Harvey

  • Harvey is 5-0 with a 1.55 ERA and a 1.176 WHIP.
  • Batters are hitting .149 against Harvey.
  • He's walked 14 and whiffed 68.
  • He's allowed three homers.
  • Batters have missed on 28.4% of their swings.
  • The avg. velocity of his fastball is 94.7 mph maxing out at 98.9.


Matt Moore

  • Moore is 8-0 with a 2.29 ERA and a 1.091 WHIP.
  • Batters are hitting .175 against Moore.
  • He's walked 26 and whiffed 54.
  • He's allowed seven homers.
  • Batters have missed on 24.1% of their swings.
  • The avg. velocity of his fastball is 92.4 mph maxing out at 95.1.


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