The changeup was a pitch that eluded Matt Harvey as he started last season in Triple-A and even after he made it to the big leagues.
It was a challenge Harvey attacked in the offseason, and now he is throwing it more consistently this spring. Harvey used it very effectively Thursday as he tossed 4.1 nearly perfect innings in the Mets’ 4-1 Grapefruit League win over the Marlins at Tradition Field.
The power righthander’s only baserunner reached on a fielding error by shortstop Omar Quintanilla. He struck out five.
Harvey threw 48 pitches, 35 for strikes. He went to his changeup to get a few of those swinging strikes.
“I threw it a lot last year, but I don’t if it got crossed up with my slider that didn't move or what not,” Harvey said. “I like throwing my changeup a lot. I threw a couple to the righthanders today and I was pleased with that, but obviously with seven lefties in the lineup, the changeup is going to be a big pitch.
“I’ve definitely worked on that quite a bit.”
The 23-year-old Harvey finally made his major-league debut July 26 but only after some internal debate. Terry Collins said that there was a question of whether his changeup was ready for the big leagues.
“It was a thing where I would call (Triple-A manager) Wally (Backman) and ask about how he was doing and one of the first things he’d say is that his changeup is at times good and at other times nonexistent,” Collins recalled. “Same with Jon Niese, who threw I think 20 changeups (Wednesday) with mixed results.
“But the point is that they went out there and threw ’em.”
That approach is part of what Collins likes about Harvey: he attacks a problem or a weakness in his game.


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