Does “Dark Knight” Matt Harvey Need Sunblock?

Matt Harvey is one of the few reasons to be excited about the Mets future. He is surpassing his already lofty expectations as a prospect. Barring injury or an unexpected setback he appears to be among the crop of young Starting Pitchers to be among MLB elite for the years to come.

Despite the disappointing 5 inning, 4 run performance, Matt Harvey is on an  All-Star, and potentially All-Star starter, pace. A 5-0 record that probably would be much higher with more offensive help, 2.17 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 89 strikeouts. He has surpassed Mets rookie records held by the likes of Seaver and Gooden. He has been nothing short of sensational, getting the nickname The Dark Knight from Sports Illustrated for being perhaps not the star Gotham needs, but the one it deserves.

 

But does this Dark Knight have a weakness?

 

Yesterday’s appearance had a familiar ring to it, mostly due to the “DAY” part. I have been present to two Matt Harvey starts, and the better of the two occurred at night, and Harvey appeared to be off his game during the day game I attended back on May 22nd, where he gave up four runs to the Reds in six innings.

Looking at his 2013 splits it appears that The Dark Knight is not as sharp during the day:

 

5 Day Games: 33.2 innings (an average of 6.64 innings), 3.48 ERA, 9 BBs, 3 Home Runs, 27 Strikeouts , and a .246 opponent batting average.

7 Night Games: 49.1 innings (an average of 7.01 innings), 1.28 ERA, 10 BBs, 1 Home Run, 62 Strikeouts, and a .152 opponents batting average.

 

He is averaging less innings per start during the day, and he goes from averaging over a strikeout per inning to less than a strikeout per inning. His opponents batting average goes up 94 points and his ERA goes up over 2 runs. While his day numbers are very respectable alone, the fact that there is such a jump is very concerning.

I cannot say whether this is an old issue or not. Matt Harvey made only one start during the day in 2012 at the MLB level, but that one too was poor:

Five innings, 8 runs, 2 home runs.

 

This is something that we have to keep an eye on for this season and the future for Matt Harvey. Cause while he might be The Dark Knight when the sun goes down, during the day he’s barely Bruce Wayne.

 

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