|Harvey in 2013 vs Harvey in 2016|
Fast forward to May 19th, 2016. Harvey gets knocked around by the Washington Nationals and fails to get out of the 3rd inning, allowing six earned runs, raising his season ERA to 5.77. In 48 innings, Harvey owns a 1.66 WHIP, way above his career WHIP of 1.07. His ERA has not been below 4.50 in any of his 9 starts and he has failed to record an out in the 7th inning of a game.
Harvey was one of the first 10 starters drafted and a top 40 pick across the board, during fantasy baseball drafts this Winter.
SB Nation's Amazin' Avenue highlighted a key struggle for Harvey, prior to last night's start, documenting batted ball trajectory:
A big part of the problem has been the trajectories opposing batters have been generating. According to Statcast, Harvey has allowed 45 batted balls struck with a launch angle between 10 and 25 degrees—line drives—through his first eight starts, which is the second most in all of baseball. Last year, Harvey allowed 96 batted balls between those angles all year, 18.3% of his total batted balls. This year, that rate has climbed to 30.8% of his total batted balls. The major league average is 21.1%.Harvey has allowed home runs to Daniel Murphy, Christian Bethancourt, Mallex Smith, Zack Cozart, and Odubel Herrera - not exactly baseball's most powerful hitters.
Here is what PitcherList.com had to say about Harvey after last night:
It was the brightest of times, it was the blarkest of times?! We've been waiting all year for Matt Harvey to kick it into high gear and, well, we're going to have keep waiting after going an atrocious 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks against the Nationals Thursday night. What are we supposed to do with him now? His velocity is still down, and he's just not the Harvey we expected. I still feel he will rebound a bit later in the season, though it's incredibly difficult to endorse at all in the short term. I'm treating him like a N/A stash moving forward until I see some major shifts in both his command and velocity. No real point in selling low at this juncture since you'll get little in return, so you might as well hold and hope that there isn't an injury hiding underneath it all.Jesse Pantuosco of RotoWorld also discussed Harvey's Nightmare:
The trouble is, Thursday wasn’t an isolated incident. Harvey’s been getting throttled all year. He’s tied for the league lead in losses and his ERA is hovering around six. At 27, Harvey should be entering his prime. Instead, he’s going through the worst stretch of his career.