Thursday, April 9, 2015

Aces Strasburg, Harvey square off in rubber game

Five hundred and ninety-three days after making his last big league appearance, Mets ace Matt Harvey will return to the mound this afternoon against the Nationals. Need more hype? Harvey will oppose right-hander Stephen Strasburg, whom he beat in a much-anticipated April 2013 duel.
Things to know about this game:

1. Harvey will be making his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2013. Though the Mets feel he was ready to pitch late last season, they held him out until April to reduce the risk of re-injury. Still, the Mets plan to be cautious with Harvey, limiting him to around 90 pitches today and roughly 180 innings during the regular season.
2. Expect plenty of swings and misses in this one, and not just because it's getaway day. Only four pitchers (Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez and Yu Darvish) have struck out more batters than Strasburg over the past three seasons, while only four teams (the Astros, Braves, Cubs and Pirates) have whiffed more often than the Mets over that span.
3. Among those still looking for their first hits of the season are Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson and Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond. Desmond may have the best chance to break through today; he's 3-for-9 lifetime off Harvey with a home run.

No comments: