The New York Mets were given a slight glimpse by Matt Harvey of the dominant pitcher he was in the past. Harvey also showed it could take a while to return to that level of the past.
Harvey is attempting to return from surgery he underwent last July. The Mets right-hander started for the first time in spring training on Sunday. His first inning was perfect against the St. Louis Cardinals.
However he was chased by the Cardinals in the second as he allowed three runs. Harvey said it was just a matter of time before he returned to form.
The Mets pitchers, who in 2013 underwent Tommy John surgery, saw his season cut short in 2016 when he required thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, which occurs in the area of the upper torso.
Harvey said he has not pitched against other club for eight months and the biggest thing for him was going out and competing again trying to get back his mechanics against an opponent.
Last season before his injury Harvey was 4-10. Harvey said one thing is doing everything with your own catchers and teammates but to get where you want to be you need to face hitters.
Pitchers for the Mets watched him during warmups on Sunday and then he was given high fives by all of them when he left the bullpen to take the mound.
The former ace, who is now 27, was given a welcoming round of applause when introduced then he proceeded to show his good stuff to the Cardinals during the first inning.
He fanned Dexter Fowler with a 92 mph fastball. Aledmys Diaz was caught looking at a changeup. Then a groundout ended his perfect inning.
He gave up a three-run dinger in the second after allowing a double and then hitting a batter, before Jose Martinez launched a 3-0 pitched out of the park.
He left after striking out one more batter and getting a fielder’s choice. He threw 39 pitches of which 24 were for strikes in his 1 2/3 innings of work.
Harvey overall was pleased especially about his first inning, but was also happy he was able to bounce back after allowing three runs.
His manager Terry Collins said the velocity of the low 90s did not bother him as he knows Harvey will be able to locate the ball well.
Overall it was a good start after eight months on the shelf.