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How Matt Harvey dominated the Padres
Matt Harvey won his first decision at Citi Field in dominant fashion. On a windswept evening against the Padres, Harvey struck out 10 batters in his 2013 debut, leading the Mets to an 8-4 victory. A look back at the pitcher's tremendous start on Wednesday night, courtesy of the invaluable BrooksBaseball.net:
-- Harvey had his fastball working against the Padres. Despite the frigid temperatures, he topped out at 97.6 mph while sitting at 93.5. But what's even more telling is that of Harvey's 24 swings-and-misses last night, 20 came on his four-seam fastball.
-- The average differential between Harvey's fastball and changeup was a mere 8 mph. Pitchers typically prefer a larger spread. Nevertheless, Harvey got three swings-and-misses on his changeup. He only threw the pitch nine times but recorded strikes on six of then.
-- Surprisingly, Harvey only got one whiff on his slider, though he froze a few hitters with the pitch. Aside from the fastball, Harvey's slider might have been his nastiest pitch.
Veteran catcher John Buck offered positive reviews after the game. Harvey allowed just one hit and faced only one batter over the minimum in seven innings. Yet, Buck presented this intriguing thought: "This is kind of a cool thing, and it's kind of scary, but I feel like he could have been even more efficient."