While most of the New York Mets' starters have looked good this spring, one guy who has had his struggles is right hander Matt Harvey. Harvey, the team's ace as recently as the beginning of last season, has struggled to find his new groove following surgery to address symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Mets' pitching coach Dan Warthen told reporters last week that it may take until mid-May for Harvey to really feel 100%, but he took a step in the right direction this afternoon. The line wasn't great for Harvey (L, 0-4), who allowed three runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work in the Mets' 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers, but there were enough underlying positives to consider the outing a step in the right direction.
The Tigers had some early success against Harvey, picking up four hits in the first two innings, including a solo homer from catcher James McCann in the second. Harvey settled in nicely though, retiring seven in a row at one point and reaching 96 miles per hour with his fastball. The wheels came off again as Harvey reached the fifth for the first time this spring to build his stamina. The first two men reached base against Harvey, who recorded an out before giving up a two run single to Brendan Ryan to make it 3-0 in favor of the Tigers. Harvey departed at that point, but prior to the last inning the outing would have been considered a success for the right hander, who struck out three on the afternoon.
Fernando Salas was the next man in as he made his spring debut for the Mets, giving up a single but recording the final two outs of the frame to limit the damage. The Tigers would pick up some more offense with a run off of Josh Smoker in the sixth and a Nick Castellanos solo shot off of Paul Sewald in the seventh, making it a 5-0 game. Offensively, a reserve filled Mets' lineup couldn't do much against Tigers' starter Anibal Sanchez (W, 2-1), who allowed two hits over four shutout innings while striking out five. The Mets scored their only run in the ninth inning on an RBI triple from Kevin Kaczmarski to avoid the shutout. Another notable line belonged to Tim Tebow, who went 0 for 3 on the day he learned that he would start the season playing for the Low-A Columbia Fireflies.
The Mets are off tomorrow before returning home for another matchup with the Miami Marlins. First pitch for the game is scheduled for 1:10 pm at First Data Field, and the contest will be televised on SNY.
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