I talked to New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey this past October at the Tim Teufel Celebrity Golf Tournament in Greenwich and he sounded confident that his brief stay with the team at the end of the 2012 season was just the start of good things to come.
He was right. Harvey couldn’t have pitched much better in his first start of the 2013 season for the Mets. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound right-hander struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings in the Mets’ 8-4 win over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
Drafted by the Mets in the first round of the 2010 amateur draft, the New London native entered the season with confidence after finishing strong last season.
“Getting called up to the majors and joining the team was awesome,” said Harvey, a graduate of Fitch High School. “Learning from the older guys and picking their brain was a valuable experience.”
So was getting the ball for several starts – an aspect that helped prepare him for this season.
“Getting the ball and going out there to pitch every fifth day was every kids’ dream come true,” Harvey said. “It made realize even more that this is something I want to do for a long time.”
Once he put on a Mets uniform, Harvey was determined to stick with the big league club.
“Once you get there, that’s the only place you want to be, that’s for sure,” Harvey said. “When you get to this level, the level you’ve been striving to reach, you do whatever you can to stay here.”
Harvey made his first start on July 26 of last season against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He struck out 11 to record his first win of the season.
“It took me a day to want to get back on the mound and pitch after that game,” said Harvey, who credited Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee and Johan Santana for helping him adjust to the Major Leagues.
Tha’s probably how he felt after he pitched Wednesday’s gem.