For fans of the New York Mets, there has been an uneasy anticipation around the return of All-Star starting pitcher, Matt Harvey. Harvey, 26, last pitched in a game on August 24th, 2013, when he was shut down for the remainder of the season due to a torn UCL. He later underwent Tommy John surgery, which held him out of the entire 2014 season. There is always fear about how a player will respond to a major surgery. Harvey calmed all nerves and uneasiness in his 2015 regular season debut.
The Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 6-3 behind Harvey’s strong debut. He out dueled another young ace, Stephen Strasburg, in a highly anticipated pitching matchup. Harvey struck out nine batters in six scoreless innings.
“It took a while,” Harvey said of his return to MLB.com. “But I’m glad I’m finally here.”
As are Mets fans. Harvey finished fourth for the 2013 NL CY Young Award despite missing the final month of the season. Since making his debut in 2012, Harvey has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the majors. He is 13-10 with a 2.33 ERA and a 0.983 WHIP in his career.
When asked about having Harvey back, Mets manager Terry Collins told Yahoo! Sports, ”When you’ve got a No. 1 guy that you can run out there and you know that, hey, we give him two to three runs a game and he’s going to win 20 games – we got that animal. He’s going to change the dynamic of what our club is all about.”
That’s a big help to the Mets, as they are notoriously known for their offensive struggles. Last season they were 28th in the MLB with a team batting average of .239. They scored more runs in Thursday’s game (6) than their first two games combined (4).
Third baseman David Wright, who came into the game 1-for-8 on the season, went 2-for-5 with two RBI’s. He helped ignite the Mets’ four-run third inning when Ian Desmond’s defensive struggles continued as he made an error on a potential double play groundball.
The Mets, who are 15-41 against the Nationals the past three seasons, will take the win however they can as David Wright alluded to, ”A great series win coming into D.C. against a team that we struggled against the last couple of years.”
The Mets will continue their road trip by traveling to Atlanta to play the Atlanta Braves starting on Friday. The Braves are fresh off of a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins.
The Nationals will travel to Philadelphia to play another NL East foe in the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday.