Harvey scores well on test for Bisons

Mets' No 2 prospect may make Major League debut Saturday

By Robert Emrich / Special to MLB.com | July 16, 2012 7:15 PM ET

Matt Harvey doesn't know whether he will be starting for the Mets on Saturday. He does know that he did what he needed to do to make a trip to Queens later this week.

New York's No. 2 prospect allowed two runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings in what may be his final Minor League start as Buffalo fell to Toledo, 4-2, on Monday.

Harvey, who walked four and struck out four, did not allow a hit until Argenis Diaz singled to lead off the sixth inning. The 2010 first-round pick left with runners on second and third in the seventh after 100 pitches.

"Unfortunately I got behind a few hitters, but I felt like when I needed to make a pitch I was able to," Harvey said. "I was able to throw a fastball down in the zone and get a groundball and the breaking ball was there when I needed it."

Harvey, who did not figure into the decision, has been the subject of discussion by the Mets and their fans of late. With hurler Dillon Gee likely sidelined for the rest of the season, Harvey is considered one of the candidates to replace him in the rotation, possibly as soon as Saturday at Citi Field. With executives Sandy Alderson and J.P. Ricciardi in attendance, the 23-year-old right-hander didn't quell such rumors.

"I'd like to think so," Harvey said when asked whether he though he passed a potential audition. "I don't think I really gave up too many solid hits. The only thing I wish I had better was pound the zone a little better. Towards the end of the game, I was feeling more confident in my delivery. I went out there and did everything I could, we'll see what happens.

"It's never my call. Whenever they do make that decision at that time, I'll feel excited about it. Tomorrow I'll do my normal stuff and get ready to pitch Saturday. If they tell me to pitch somewhere else, I'll go somewhere else."

Despite the attendance of Alderson and Ricciardi, Harvey felt little in the way of nerves.

"I took it as a practice to get used to that," he said. "Everyone is going to be there. I took it as if it were no other start. I know we had a tough loss yesterday. I just wanted to go out there and give our team a chance to win, and I was able to do that. I didn't think about any of that at all."

Coming off an appearance in the Triple-A All-Star Game that netted him International League MVP honors, Harvey has developed a new grip on his changeup over the past six weeks. The results have generally been solid, with the Connecticut native having walked 15 batters while fanning 45 over his last seven starts.

Justin Hampson allowed a hit that scored a run charged to Harvey while recording the final out of the seventh. Jenrry Mejia (1-2) took the loss after allowing two runs on four hits over the final two innings.

Adam Loewen continued his torrid hitting since coming off the disabled list, going yard for the seventh time in 21 games for the Bisons. A rehabbing Jason Bay drew a pair of walks in four plate appearances.

The Mud Hens took the lead in the top of the ninth when Ben Guez singled home a pair of runs.

Jose Ortega tossed a hitless inning of relief for his fourth win and Chris Bootcheck earned his 16th save, fanning two in a perfect ninth.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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