On Thursday night, the Nationals cuffed around Mets right-hander Matt Harvey in the final game of their series (WAS 9, NYM 1). Harvey's dismal performance increased his 2016 ERA to 5.77 after nine starts. Needless to say, this has been a tremendously disappointing start to the season for a pitcher who had an ace resume (145 ERA+) coming into 2016.

All of this isn't lost on Nationals superstar Bryce Harper. Here are some of his postgame comments regarding Harvey's obvious difficulties on the mound ...

It's one thing to struggle. It's something else to struggle to the extent that you inspire pity in the opposition. That seems to be what's happened here.

The most concerning part of Harper's comments are those about Harvey's velocity. However, that doesn't seem to be quite accurate. Here, via Brooks Baseball, are Harvey's readings from Thursday night against the Nats ...

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Maybe that's not perfectly vintage Harvey, but it's not quite what Harper's saying. That said, Harper surely picked up on something that was lacking when it comes to Harvey' usual stuff.

Speaking of something lacking, all of this is of course not lost on Mets manager Terry Collins ...

As Ackert goes on to tweet, Harvey may see a doctor, as, per Collins, he's been in a diminished state since dealing with a blood clot in the spring.

Unfortunately, the Mets aren't long on replacement options right now. Zack Wheeler, who's working his way back from the Tommy John surgery that he underwent in March of last year, will eventually inject some upside into the rotation, but he's not likely to be back before early July. The larger point, though, is that the Mets may not be able to withstand the absence of vintage Harvey, especially in what's shaping up to be a highly competitive NL East. Just ask Bryce Harper.