The Mets finally received some positive pitching news today with Matt Harvey’s pain-free, 20-pitch live batting practice session. Harvey’s last start was June 14, a four-inning stint against the Cubs.
HARVEY: Makes progress. (AP)
Live batting practice usually comes prior to a rehab assignment, so if he doesn’t feel anything tomorrow, he could make a minor-league start this weekend. Assuming all goes well, Harvey could make three or four starts before the end of the year.
“My goal is to get out there as soon as I can and get as many starts as I can,’’ Harvey told reporters. “I felt great. It was nice to get on the mound again. A little rusty at first, but at the end, I was able to get the ball down.
“My arm is moving the proper way. It was finally fun to throw a baseball again.’’
It has been a long time since Harvey had any fun pitching, perhaps the eighth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series. It’s not his 4-3 record, but his 5.25 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and 35 walks in 70.1 innings that has frustrated Harvey.
That, and whether he’ll ever approach the potential expected of him when he became an All-Star and cult hero in 2013. If nothing else, both Harvey and the Mets want to ascertain where he physically fits heading into the offseason.
THE GAME: Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d’Arnaud homered to give Chris Flexen his first major league victory, 5-4, over Texas tonight at Citi Field.
Flexen (1-1), in his third career start, pitched 5.2 innings and gave up three on four hits, three walks and one hit batter while striking out four. For good measure, he also registered his career hit with a fifth-inning double.
For Conforto, it was his career-high 23rd homer and sixth leading off a game.
A NEW GIG FOR IKE: Former Mets first baseman Ike Davis is trying to make it back to the majors as a situational lefty reliever in the Dodgers farm system.
Davis, 30, struck out the side his one inning of work in the Arizona League.
Davis pitched for Arizona State in college and made two scoreless relief appearances for Oakland in 2015. His fastball has been clocked at 92 mph.
EXTRA INNINGS: With their win, the Mets snapped a four-game and improved to 26-31 at home. … Conforto’s leadoff homer was the Mets’ tenth to lead the majors. …
Since the All-Star break, Conforto is batting .313 (30-96) with nine home runs and 17 RBI. … D’Arnaud’s homer was his tenth. … Neil Walker started his first career game at first. … AJ Ramos converted his first save opportunity since joining the Mets.