Harvey will begin his first full season in the majors Wednesday night when he gets the nod against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field.
The seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft, Harvey was promoted to the big leagues last July when the Mets' staff was overcome with attrition. The right-hander responded by posting a 2.73 ERA over 10 starts with 70 strikeouts in 59 1-3 innings. A lack of run support, however, left him with a 3-5 record.
New York will again look to the 24-year-old in 2013, but this time with a starting job out of spring training. And with Johan Santana undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery on Tuesday and Shaun Marcum set to miss his start this weekend because of neck pain, the team is in need of strong pitching.
The Mets got it with Jonathon Niese limiting Pittsburgh to two runs in 6 2-3 innings in Monday's 11-2 opening-day victory. Now they'll look for Harvey to follow Niese's success after a positive spring in which Harvey went 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA over seven starts. He struck out 33 in 27 1-3 innings.
"I just think that the way he pitched in spring training, pounding the strike zone, made people swing the bats, he's going to get easier outs," manager Terry Collins told the team's official website. "I've seen him get deeper into games, and with that I think he's going to win a lot of games."
Harvey will oppose a San Diego lineup that scraped out four hits Monday as it took the field without Chase Headley .
Headley, who hit .286 last season with career highs in home runs (31) and RBIs (115), is expected to miss at least two weeks with a broken thumb suffered during spring training.
"We just have to be a little more aggressive," said Alonso, who went 2 for 3 with a double and two-run homer off Harvey in a 7-3 win in San Diego on Aug. 5.
Harvey ended up giving up five runs and eight hits in five innings.
On the mound for San Diego will be left-hander Clayton Richard , who matched a career high last season with 14 wins. The Padres could use a strong start after Edinson Volquez 's forgettable opening-day performance in which he allowed six runs and didn't escape the fourth inning. Reliever Brad Bach was also hit hard in two-thirds of an inning, yielding four runs and four hits.
"We didn't pitch well at all," manager Bud Black said. "Like I said all spring, you've got to pitch well and we just didn't."
New York received solid offensive contributions in the opener from all three of the new additions to its lineup, with Collin Cowgill , Marlon Byrd and John Buck going a combined 6 for 14 with seven RBIs.
"If I was going to draw it up, this would be about what it looks like and feels like," Buck said of his Mets debut. "It definitely helped me settle in a little easier."
Highly touted Padres prospect Jedd Gyorko made his first big league start at second base, going 1 for 4 with a double.
Richard is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA in five career starts against the Mets.
|San Diego Padres|
|March 31, 2013||Cory Luebke||60-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|March 31, 2013||Casey Kelly||60-Day DL||Right elbow surgery, out for season|
|March 27, 2013||Logan Forsythe||15-Day DL||Plantar fasciitis, right foot|
|March 22, 2013||Chase Headley||15-Day DL||Broken left thumb|
|March 22, 2013||James Darnell||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|March 22, 2013||Casey Kelly||Day-to-Day||Right elbow|
|New York Mets|
|March 22, 2013||Jenrry Mejia||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|March 22, 2013||Frank Francisco||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|March 22, 2013||Shaun Marcum||15-Day DL||Neck strain|
|March 22, 2013||Johan Santana||15-Day DL||Left shoulder surgery - out for season|
NEW YORK (AP) -- An icy wind was whipping off Flushing Bay and many of the Mets and Padres were bundled up, yet there was Matt Harvey firing pinpoint fastballs with ease - all while wearing an undershirt with sleeves that barely covered his elbows.
Yeah, he's one cool kid.
The 24-year-old with little concern for the elements allowed one hit and struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings for his first home win, Lucas Duda hit the first of the Mets' three homers and New York beat San Diego 8-4 on Wednesday night.
"He pitched an absolutely - under the circumstances - an unbelievable game," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "The fact that he commanded his stuff as well as he did was impressive."
Left-handed batters John Buck and Ike Davis also connected against homer-prone lefty Clayton Richard in the Mets' second straight romp over San Diego. They opened the season with an 11-2 win Monday.
David Wright added an RBI double and Duda doubled, reached base three times and scored twice in a game that began with a wind chill of 32 degrees.
"We need to get a win, no doubt about it," Padres manager Bud Black said.
Making his 11th career start - fifth at home - the 24-year-old Harvey warmed up quickly in the frosty conditions in front of a crowd of 22,239. The Mets' 2010 No. 1 draft pick (seventh overall) didn't allow a baserunner until Everth Cabrera singled to center field leading off the fourth and faced 22 batters, one over the minimum.
With the 22-mph wind ruffling his jersey, Harvey also singled in the second - and did not ask for a jacket on the base paths.
"I like to play baseball, and, in my mind, a jacket doesn't belong on the baseball field," Harvey said.
He did reluctantly make one concession to the cold: He said the undershirt he wore was a little thicker than normal.
Harvey (1-0) picked Cabrera off first base when the speedy shortstop tried taking an extra stride in his lead while Will Venable was batting. Venable walked but Carlos Quentin hit into a 5-4-3 double play.
"All his stuff is electric," said Buck, Harvey's catcher.
Harvey walked Quentin with two outs in the seventh as paper wrappers swirled around the field.
The Mets hold up Harvey as a symbol for the direction this franchise is headed as one of several highly touted young arms in the organization. He hasn't disappointed since getting the call July 26. He went 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA in 10 starts and is now filling the No. 2 starter role with Johan Santana out for the season because of shoulder surgery.
"He's a little different than he was last fall," Collins said. "Last fall he wanted to show everybody that his stuff was plus stuff. ... He's becoming a pitcher."
Duda hit a laser line drive into the second deck in right field in the second after Marlon Byrd singled off Richard (0-1). Duda doubled in the fourth ahead of Buck's homer.
"That's a little bit unusual for Clay. He's been pretty solid against the left-handed hitters in his career," Black said. "He just got the ball up, he really did."
With the flags atop the stadium stiffly pointing toward right, Buck lofted an opposite-field fly ball that landed in the netting just beyond the right field fence to make it 4-0.
Buck also had an RBI single three batters after Davis crushed a ball just short of the bridge beyond the bullpens in right-center. Davis was 0 for 7 before the homer.
"It was a tremendous relief," Davis said. "Especially after the first game," in which he went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts.
Richard was troubled by the longball last year, giving up an NL-high 31 in 33 starts and this was a discouraging first start to 2013. He was lifted after walking Byrd in the fifth and allowed seven hits and eight runs - seven earned - in 4 1-3 innings.
"There wasn't much that was working," Richard said. "Really, I didn't have good stuff and then when you don't have good stuff and are not able to command down, it's going to be trouble."
Cameron Maybin had an RBI groundout in the eighth off Greg Burke to end the shutout. Nick Hundley had an RBI double in a three-run ninth.
NOTES: Mets RHP Shaun Marcum will have his neck and shoulder examined by team doctors in New York on Thursday. Aaron Laffey likely will start in Marcum's place Sunday. ... Padres prospect Casey Kelly , a key piece in the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to Boston in December 2010, had Tommy John surgery Tuesday on his right elbow. Black said the operation went as planned and that Kelly will begin to follow the protocol for rehabilitation that generally takes about a year. ... Harvey struck out 10 twice last season. His high of 11 came in his debut.