Sunday, April 14, 2013

Statement Analysis: Matt Harvey

IN COMMAND: Matt Harvey strikes an imposing pose on the way to his third win, as he flirted with a no-hitter in the Mets’ 4-2 victoryover the Twins yesterday

Harvey takes no-hitter into 7th

Mets 4 Twins 2

This is a very serious young man as can be seen by his quotes:  He is no-nonsense.  He has a 34 year old head attached to a 24 year old arm and his words reveal it.  He is confident, without being cocky.  He is tough, without being boastful; strictly an old school throwback to yesterday.  He works hard and gives the appearance of a craftsman practicing his craft. 

 He gives a quote at the end that I would like readers of Statement Analysis to answer the two questions I have posted.   I will give a hint:  the sensitivity indictors are due to a specific reason; specific to baseball. 

MINNEAPOLIS — Matt Harvey captivates an audience each time he pitches for the Mets, but yesterday took it to another level.
With two outs in the seventh inning on a frigid day at Target Field, the 24-year-old right-hander still hadn’t allowed a hit to the Twins. Then, on a 2-2 slider to Justin Morneau, the bubble burst.
Morneau swatted the pitch off the screen attached to the right-field foul pole, ending the no-hit watch and leaving Harvey to settle for an excellent performance — without a no-hitter.
“It was a good pitch and he just put a good swing on it,” Harvey said after his two-hitter over eight innings led the Mets to their second straight victory, 4-2 over the Twins. “Looking back I probably should have gone with another changeup or the fastball. But I made a good pitch and he put a good swing on it.”

Manager Terry Collins later admitted he had a pitch count in mind for Harvey, but wouldn’t divulge the number. Of course, it might have taken a SWAT team to remove Harvey from the game with a no-hitter intact.
The Mets went 8,019 games since the franchise’s inception without a no-hitter until Johan Santana ended the drought on June 1 of last season against the Cardinals. Santana needed 134 pitches to complete his gem, but Harvey was working at a more efficient pace, at 87 pitches in the seventh when Morneau homered, and finished with 107 pitches.
“I might have dropped the gloves,” Harvey said.
Temperature at first pitch was 35 degrees, but Harvey, wearing his customary sleeves only to the elbow, seemed unaffected. A night earlier, with temperatures in the low 30s, Jon Niese indicated he had problems gripping the baseball.
Brian Dozier’s single with two outs in the eighth accounted for the Twins’ other hit against Harvey (3-0), who made it three straight starts in 2013 of at least seven innings pitched and one run or less allowed.
In 22 innings this season, Harvey has allowed six hits and six walks with 25 strikeouts. Morneau’s blast was the first home run against Harvey this season.
“That was the at-bat I felt we needed to get past,” catcher John Buck said. “I thought Morneau was our nemesis, which he showed. It wasn’t that bad of a pitch, it’s just [Morneau] is a freak.”
Harvey was hoping Morneau’s ball would hook foul, and nearly got his wish.
“I was blowing it foul, but I knew he hit it pretty good,” Harvey said.
The Mets (7-4) took control of the game with seven straight hits in the fifth inning to take a 4-0 lead. Marlon Byrd’s homer leading off the inning against Scott Diamond was the loudest of those hits.
Harvey, whose fastball had remained in the 94-95 mph range early, increased his velocity as the game progressed. After Dozier struck out leading off the sixth, Harvey reached back and struck out Eduardo Escobar on a 96-mph missile. Aaron Hicks followed with a fly to left that Lucas Duda momentarily misjudged before moving back to make the catch. Mike Baxter replaced Duda in left field for the seventh.
Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham were retired in succession in the seventh before Morneau’s homer.
“When you go through that lineup two times and they don’t have a hit yet, you know [Harvey] has got the kind of stuff to go through them a third time, too,” Collins said.
Harvey said he was aware of the no-hitter possibility early.
“I peeked a couple of times,” he said. “I think after the sixth inning I sat down in the dugout and realized it was kind of a possibility.

Question #1:  Why the qualifiers and reduced commitment in the statement?

Question #2:   Why the body posture in the statement?

Post your answers with explanations


VLW said...

Hmmm... Question 1--Modesty, perhaps?
Question 2--Doesn't the word "sit" mean a degree of tension? An athlete in a potential big-win contest situation would be experiencing that.

veruca said...

Idk about the sa here...
But....Lets go METS!!!

Love these Quizzes said...

I only know a little bit about baseball, but I am giving this a shot anyway.

Maybe the Manager made the pitch decision. Harvey "peeked a couple of times" so that could mean he knew he could do it but his manager made the decision. He SAT down, means tension, so maybe he did not agree with his manager but it was not his choice. He may have used the words THINK and KIND of a possibility to minimize his belief that it was possible because he didn't want to blame it on the manager and make him look bad or let his manager know he didn't agree with his decision, and blamed it on him.

Skeptical said...

Baseball players are botoriously superitious. I think he ddn't want to jinx his good luck by talking about a no-hitter game, I think he sat down because he was overwhelmed by the possibility of having a no-hitter

Jen said...

Harvey knows the outcome by the time he made this statement, so that probably has some influence. If I'm understanding the statement of the manager correctly, they had 'a count', (number of pitches in mind, after which point he would likely be less effective), so he may have feared he wouldn't be allowed to finish up on the mound.

I think Harvey mentions his position, 'sat down in the dugout' because he was anxious about whether he would be allowed to finish up (no pitcher likes to be taken off the mound, even if they are throwing dirt I'm sure he would be very upset if he were replaced while he was on a no-hitter run.)

He had gone through the line up twice without anyone getting a hit, so he had a good chance of doing it a third time...but it's likely that the 6th-7th inning is the point where substitutions are considered due to player fatigue. Also it appears that they (players/manager) knew that Mornuea was a wild card in the scenario, and his at-bat was the one that they had to overcome, so that may have factored into Harvey's language.

Harvey seems humble and gives credit to the hitter for putting a good hit on his pitch, but still shows confidence in his he should after pitching a two hit game!

sidewalk super said...

You get the quote after the game...
he and his catcher have seen the opportunity for the no hitter come and go,
and although a record book win would have been a bonus,
playing well for his team was his objective.

Christopher gaylord said...

I'm important.

Statement Analysis Blog said...


Lemon said...

#1 I'm not sure about the 'specific to baseball' - I can see not wanting to jinx oneself in that situation, similar to not looking at the leader board in golf.
(I'm watching the Master's currently).
#2 Increase in tension - nervousness?

SALurker said...

I agree with what Skeptical & Lemon have said.

1-Superstitious would play into it for me even though I am not usually superstitious. Although if I had the weight of the world on my shoulders - I think I'd be afraid of jinxing myself.

2-Again if the whole sports world was looking to me for a no hitter - I would definitely have an increase in tension.

SAlurker said...

^^^1-Superstition would play into for me..

Didn't mean superstitious in the very beginning.

GetThem said...

I think he is trying not to sound cocky. He doesn't want to get his hopes up, but he is pleased and trying to stay focused.

I don't know why the body posture. I'm going to read the posts now to find out!

sidewalk super said...

Players always sit after leaving the field, take fluids, wipe brow, decompress as much as they can until their turn again.

Christopher gaylord is jesus said...

One day soon I'll fart out rainbows onto _ABC and the evil Hobnob!

Statement Analysis Blog said...

1. Specific to baseball: Everyone attempts to say "nothing" about a no-hitter or perfect game as it progresses. Some announcers are even held to this rule and if someone says, "well, through 6 innings, he has a no-hitter going!" another announcer might say, "you jinxed him!"

Even on the field the ball players say nothing.

2. When someone uses body posture in a statement, it is often an indication of an increase in tension. This tension can be good tension, or it can be anxious tension.

Here is an example:

"Christina did her home work."


"Christina sat down and did her home work."

The second sentence suggests an increase in seriousness. She "sat down", settled in, got serious, did not rush...etc.