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Hey, psst! Hey pal...do you...do you like good pitching?
Hey, yeah I thought you looked like a guy who could appreciate some good pitching. Say, you like New York baseball teams? Oh, you don't? Well that's okay unless...say you're not one of them Philadelphia fans are ya?? Cause I got some bad news for you.
That's right, Matt Harvey -- masterful ace of 2013 -- has returned from Tommy John surgery and I have some good news for your humanitarian side and bad news for your baseball rooting interest side: he looks dominant. Yep, the guy hasn't seemed to lose a step, and he's taking the tour of the NL East Offenses Which The Gods Betrayed, moving from the Washington "1-2 series loss against the Phillies" Nationals to the Philadelphia "Listen we're pretty close to .500" Phillies.
Harvey -- who I'm going to be trying to nickname Two-Face from here on out, natch -- pitched like you might expect the guy I just described to pitch in his last start, notching 9 K's, 1 walk, and 4 hits over 6.0 zero-run innings against the Nats. Not for nothin' but I wouldn't be shocked if he did a similar thing against the Phillies. While the Phils haven't been nearly as strike out prone or, indeed, punchless as you might have expected at season's start, they're still not exactly knocking the cover off the ball. Small sample size, of course, but their aggregate line right now is an Valdezian 216/278/276. Hey, at least their OBP is higher than their SLG! And at least they're outhitting the Twins, Rangers, and Nationals (poor poor Nationals). Anyway, I repeat myself.
Opposite of Harvey, the Phillies are trotting out David Buchanan, who is interesting if not quite as compelling a story as his opposite number. While Buchanan is not winning any Cy Youngs anytime soon, and while he suffered a fairly brutal first game of the season, don't let the 18.00 ERA fool you: he's not that bad. In fact, his changeup is quite nice, and he put up interesting peripherals both this spring and last year, making him an interesting sort of guy. Also, there's this:
I'm excited for Buchanan tonight. One of the legitimately interesting players on the roster & coming off super fluky first start struggles.— Corinne (@Ut26) April 14, 2015
@Matt_Winkelman Reverse splits due to that change up?— Corinne (@Ut26) April 14, 2015
@Ut26 Yep, righties OPS .230 higher than lefties for his career, walks way more lefties, but they hit for no power, righties slug .491— Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman) April 14, 2015
And the Mets' lineup today? Well it's not in yet, but you can bet I'll be making much of it, stealing the thunder of these two friends of the blog.
Suffice it to say, I think today is a loss, but I don't think that's on Buchanan or even the Phillies' very bad team. I think Harvey is just that good.
Which means it's going to be a long decade.