LEADING OFF: Sale makes Boston debut; Bartolo back in Citi

LEADING OFF: Sale makes Boston debut; Bartolo back in Citi

It had been nine months since Harvey went down for the count with a case of thoracic outlet syndrome that required surgery and essentially wrecked his 2016 season, and he was in a hurry to start righting some wrongs. Harvey underwent surgery for the ailment, which is caused by a compression of the nerves and/or blood vessels somewhere between the neck and armpit.

Now, the Mets hope Harvey is fully recovered.

Matt Harvey reminded his Mets teammates of someone familiar on Thursday night, in his season debut against the Atlanta Braves: Himself.

Matt Harvey, who lines up third in the NY rotation behind Syndergaard and deGrom, isn't the type to engage in clubhouse antics even in the best of times, but he was especially sober in anticipation of his 2017 debut. The forecast calls for temperatures in the 40s and a possibility of rain.

"Matt Harvey can pitch as good as anybody when he's 93-95", manager Terry Collins said.

What can we expect to see as Colon faces his old teammates? I think that's something that plays to his advantage - whether he's pitching well or not pitching well, whatever the situation is, it keeps him very level, keeps his confidence up at all times. "I think he was somewhat embarrassed by what happened, so he came into camp bound and determined to prove he's the same guy".

And he got support from an all-around solid effort from the Mets (2-1) offense, which dropped six runs on the Braves (1-2) in the final game of the series.

Between Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Matt Harvey, who collectively pitched 18.2 innings all together (Harvey tossing the extra two outs, where Thor and deGrom through an even six), they allowed two runs. The 13-year veteran will fit in nicely with the Braves as I'm pretty sure he knows his role when he signed on the dotted line. "That was a big step, probably the biggest so far this spring". Mets RHP Zack Wheeler is scheduled to make his first start in more than two years Friday, when he takes the mound against the Miami Marlins. Both runs allowed came via Matt Kemp home runs.

New York's bullpen also pitched well, with the exception of Rafael Montero. "Once we started seeing the arm strength coming back, it was about commanding his pitches".

"I know him mentally", said Recker, who was New York's backup catcher from 2013 to 2015. "You've got to go up there and be real patient because he's gonna be around the dish and you're gonna get something you can hit but if you try to guess with him he's gonna get you out".

No wonder the Mets were thrilled to see Harvey work over the Braves that easily - 10 swings and misses and nearly all soft contact otherwise. The longtime St. Louis Cardinals starter was traded to Atlanta last December.

Harvey made five Grapefruit League starts, ultimately finishing 0-4 with a 5.89 ERA.

"Surprisingly good for somebody who (was) off surgery", Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "There's some of those sinkers, he throws that are gone". In addition to consistently hitting 93-94 miles per hour on the radar gun with his fastball, Harvey incorporated an excellent slider and a very good change-up that made his outing much more efficient. "It was just about executing pitches and getting people out". To that point, the Mets had scored in just two of the first 24 innings they played in 2017. Colon struck out six and allowed just two hits.

Garcia is 2-3 with a 2.66 ERA in seven career starts against the Mets.