With the New York Mets’ fire-balling Matt Harvey facing the Atlanta Braves Tuesday afternoon, you had to figure the sky was the limit regarding how many strikeouts that Harvey could register. The Braves, who have been dubbed by some Braves fans as the “Merry K”‘s, lead the National League in strikeouts.
While Harvey didn’t set any records Tuesday, he did set a career high for strikeouts against the Braves, registering 13 strikeouts in only 7+ innings.
Not only did Harvey dominate the Braves with strikeouts, he pitched no-hit ball through six innings. Jason Heyward broke up Harvey’s bid for a no-hitter with a fluke hit leading off the seventh.
This was not Harvey’s first flirtation with a no-hitter this season. He pitched a perfect six innings last month against the Chicago white Sox, before settling for a nine inning one-hitter.
Harvey gave up only three hits for the game and left in the eight inning with a 4-0 lead. He was charged with three earned runs which all scored after he left the game. His fastball registered 100 mph when he blew away Jason Heyward in the first inning and was regularly in the 96-98 range.
What is of concern for the Braves is their inability to hit power pitchers like Harvey. Free swinging works against mediocre pitching on Tuesday nights in May, but it doesn’t often work in the playoffs against top power pitchers.