Nearly flawless in his last start, Matt Harvey took his lumps today, but on a positive note rebounded and regained control.
Harvey gave up a three-run homer to Washington’s Bryce Harper in the first inning, but rebounded to throw three scoreless innings and strike out six in an 8-5 loss.
Harvey settled down to retire 11 of the final 12 hitters against him; a very good sign for any pitcher let alone a young one after a rough start.
“I struggled there in the first inning, obviously. I think I came out a little too excited and needed to tone that down a little bit,’’ Harvey told reporters. “I made one bad pitch and it cost me three runs.’’
Harvey said he came out pumped in trying to atone for a three-homer rocking by the Nationals last year in spring training.
Bright spots for the Mets included Collin Cowgill’s homer and scoreless relief innings from Robert Carson and LaTroy Hawkins. As of now, Cowgill seems to have the inside track in center field. Hawkins is expected to earn one of the bullpen spots. Carson, who was effective last year out of the pen in spots, could be the second lefty behind Josh Edgin.
METS MUSINGS: The Mets are expected to option catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud and infielder Wilmer Flores to the minor league camp by Friday. If a player on the 40-man roster is injured within 15 days of Opening Day they qualify for major league service time and pay, and must be placed on the disabled list until they are healed. It’s a financial risk the Mets will not take, especially since neither is expected to make the team. … The Mets are expected to name David Wright captain by the start of the season, joining Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and John Franco. Wright is having a mammoth WBC with ten RBI in four games, including a grand slam. Hope he doesn’t get used to hitting with the bases loaded when he returns. If the USA goes the distance, Wright will be out of camp for another week. … Daniel Murphy is expected to get into a minor league game this weekend. He took live batting practice today. … It his hoped Kirk Nieuwenhuis will begin baseball activities Thursday. He’s been out with a bruised left knee sustained 10 days ago. … Jordany Valdespin, who was hit in the groin by a Justin Verlander pitcher yesterday, now vows to wear a cup. Smart guy.