WAPPINGERS FALLS — The Dark Knight took a small step toward getting back to the mound at Citi Field. But before Mets fans get too excited, realize the 2013 All-Star got off to a shaky start in his minor league rehab stint.
On Saturday, Mets pitcher Matt Harvey started a live baseball game for the first time in almost two months when he took the mound for the Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones in their 6-2 loss to the Hudson Valley Renegades in Wappingers Falls.
Harvey, who underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in July 2016, has continued to face complications with his recovery. Harvey has been on the disabled list since June with a stress injury to the scapula bone in his right shoulder.
Harvey walked the first batter he faced on four straight pitches and continued to struggle throwing strikes throughout the inning. Cyclones pitching coach, Royce Ring, had to make a mound visit to talk with Harvey after the first three batters. Out of Harvey’s 18 total pitches, just seven were strikes, with his fastest pitch reaching just 93 mph.
Harvey was pulled from the game after only pitching one inning. He gave up one earned run on one hit and one walk.
Nevertheless, Harvey is staying positive and is happy finally to get back on the mound.
“It was good,” Harvey said about his minor league start. “A little rusty, but I think that was kind of expected for me going in. After not throwing [to hitters] for about two months now.”
Most importantly, Harvey repeatedly stated that his arm is feeling good.
“I’m extremely happy with the way the arm feels. That’s the biggest thing, continuing to go out there and feel good,” Harvey said. “[The goal] was to come up here and get some competition, get in a game situation and feel good. It was great. [I’m] looking forward to my next outing and continuing to get that rhythm and timing back”
Though Harvey has “no idea” what his timetable looks like for his return to Citi Field, he wants to “get back as quick as I possibly can.”
But he does not want to return to the team until he can be productive.
“The biggest thing is health and effectiveness,” Harvey said. “Obviously I don’t want to get back unless I’m able to compete and give the team quality innings, and with that be healthy. However long that takes … Effectiveness and health is the unknown.”
Before Harvey started his minor league game, he appeared to be making good progress with his injury recovery.
On Tuesday, Harvey pitched from a mound for the first time since being placed on the disabled list, when he threw in a live pitching session. While he only threw 25-30 warm-up pitches before throwing 25 live balls to Brandon Nimmo, Harvey had Mets manager Terry Collins feeling optimistic.
Even Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud said Harvey’s pitching “looked effortlessly fast. All his pitches [were] sharp.”
Before getting injured, Harvey was struggling.
Matt HarveySteve Feldman/Hudson Valley Renegades
Over the past two seasons, Harvey pitched in 30 games for the Mets only to post a 8-13 record with a 5.02 ERA. Not to mention the three-game suspension he received from the Mets after he was a no-show for the team’s May 6 game against the division rival Marlins.
Harvey’s numbers over the 2015-16 seasons were far from what he posted during his first two years with the Mets, where he turned out a 2.38 ERA over 36 starts.
Harvey hasn’t started for the Mets since his June 14 outing against the Cubs. In that game, Harvey lasted four innings and gave up four earned runs on four hits, including three home runs. Harvey did, however, get the win that day as the Mets prevailed, 9-4.
Harvey’s next step will be “going to meet the team back in New York, and they’ll tell me [what the next steps are].”
The Post has reported the next step will be to throw a bullpen session where he will be evaluated by team officials.