One of the Mets’ biggest concerns coming out of spring training is turning into one of the early season’s bright spots, which is Matt Harvey’s comeback from thoracic surgery.
Harvey took the loss in an emotional rollercoaster of a game today in Miami, losing 4-2 to the Marlins. The Mets’ third straight loss had them being no-hit going into the eighth inning, then rally in the ninth to tie but lose the game in the bottom of the inning.
Harvey was done by then, but his third straight strong start was extremely satisfying to the pitcher who some wondered would ever be special again.
“Being able to go against that lineup, and kind of controlling the damage for the most part, is definitely uplifting for me,” Harvey told reporters.
Harvey gave up two runs – one unearned – on seven hits with five strikeouts in six innings. He wasn’t close to dominant, but worked out of trouble several times and cranked up his fastball to 97 mph.
Early in spring training he was in the low 90s, but vowed his velocity would return. It’s not important that he throw 97 on every pitch, but reach it when he needs it to get out of trouble.
“Going back to spring training, I knew throwing in between starts that is was slowly creeping back,” said Harvey, whose ERA is down to 2.45. “Being able to paint the outside corner and kind of control both sides of the plate was big. When I needed to ramp up and throw a little bit harder, I was able to do that. It’s definitely a good positive.”
Harvey still has a way to go, but for now, he’s looking good.