Matt Harvey is real, and he’s spectacular

24 Comments

Matt Harvey outdueled wunderkind Stephen Strasburg in Queens tonight, holding the Nationals to one run over seven innings. The 24-year-old right-hander struck out seven in as many innings. Most impressively, he worked his way out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the seventh, even after a brutal throwing error by Daniel Murphy put the Nationals in a great position to get back in the game. Harvey got Kurt Suzuki to strike out, Roger Bernadina to pop out foul to catcher John Buck, and Denard Span to ground out to second, ending the threat without any further damage.

Harvey hit 96 MPH throughout the game, even on the 104th pitch of his 105-pitch outing. Despite the seven-inning, one-run performance, Harvey’s ERA went up from 0.82 to 0.93.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”