New York Mets right-hander Matt Harvey made his 2018 Grapefruit League debut on Wednesday when he threw 38 pitches in two innings against the Atlanta Braves in the team’s 6-4 win.
Harvey allowed one earned run on two hits, walk and two strikeouts. He featured a fastball that hit 96 MPH and touched 95 four times against the last batter he faced of the day.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway was pleased with the outing, “The hitters tell you a lot, he had that extra gear, that extra life on his fastball. When you have Freddie Freeman swinging at balls late, you know you’re doing something right.”
The pitcher formerly known as the Dark Knight also threw a couple of sharp sliders and had late life on his fastball according to Callaway. Both of his strikeouts were looking on mid 90’s fastball.
Harvey is coming off from a 2017 season in which he was one of the worst pitchers in baseball with a 6.70 ERA, 1.69 WHIP and struck out only 67 batters in 92.2 innings and walked 47 in that time span.
Harvey is focused on 2018 and doesn’t want to discuss those previous struggles anymore, “Like I said, I feel good, I feel healthy. I’m moving forward.”
After a 1-2-3 third inning by pitching prospect Tyler Bashlor it was Zack Wheeler‘s turn to get on the mound for the Mets. The right-hander pitched one inning allowing one earned run on three hits, two wild pitches, no walks and struck out two.
The results may look worse than the actual stuff from Wheeler with the hits being of the soft variety. Zack got his fastball up to 96 MPH, struck out Freeman swinging and got Tyler Flowers looking.
The obvious downside to the outing from Wheeler was that he needed 25 pitches to get through the inning, “I think I was supposed to go two innings but I got up to 25 (pitches). It’s still early in spring training. After I got into the bullpen I threw 13 more to simulated batters.”