Matt Harvey is the best pitching prospect the New York Mets have had in years, a breakout star who was just featured in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue. But he still isn’t getting the recognition he deserves from Mets fans — literally.
This week Harvey changed out of his Mets uniform and into street clothes for a segment for NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. With a microphone in hand, Matt Harvey found New York Mets fans around the Big Apple and asked what they thought of the team’s new pitching phenom.
None of the people interviewed seemed to realize it was actually Matt Harvey they were talking to.
“He’s decent,” one man said of Harvey. “But he hasn’t proved enough. He’s only gone a couple months now.”
Another remarked that he’d just seen Harvey in ESPN the Magazine.
“I kind of saw him naked in ESPN the Body issue, so it’s kinda weird,” the unsuspecting fan said. “But whatever. He’s all right.”
Harvey happened to have a copy of the ESPN photo, which showed him sneaking out of a hotel room naked holding a strategically placed room service tray. When the man being interviewed saw the picture he finally made the connection.
“Oh s**t, that’s you!” he said.
It will be hard for Mets fans to ignore Matt Harvey for too long. He stands at 7-2 on the season with an ERA of 2.35 and just started for the National League in the All-Star Game.
Harvey said he was a bit nervous about taking the mound in the All-Star Game in just his first full season, and it showed a bit early. He gave up an early hit and then plunked New York Yankees slugger Robinson Cano on the knee before finally settling down to pitch two scoreless innings.
But Harvey is the brightest point on a bleak Mets roster, poised to become the cornerstone of the rebuilding team.
Maybe if Jimmy Fallon were to ask Matt Harvey to conduct the same interview next year, a few more people might recognize him.