ATLANTA — Matt Harvey’s spring ahead was followed by a fall back, hardly reassurance for a Mets team in desperate need of a starting rotation revival.
Harvey will receive the ball Friday at SunTrust Park attempting to rinse from his palate the distaste of his performance against the Pirates last Friday, when he allowed six earned runs on five hits and four walks over five innings at Citi Field.
In his previous outing, Harvey had handled the Pirates, allowing one run over six innings in what rated as perhaps his best start of 2017.
There will be pressure for Harvey to work deep into the game — the Mets and Braves will play a doubleheader on Saturday that could tax the bullpen, especially factoring in the fact Steven Matz is scheduled to make his season debut.
Harvey (4-3, 5.43 ERA) was punished by the Braves in both his starts against them earlier this season. In each start he allowed six earned runs and was the losing pitcher.