Matt Harvey made a triumphant return from Tommy John surgery in his season debut, tossing six shutout innings in New York's 6-3 win over Washington on Thursday. Harvey returns to Queens on Tuesday as the Mets continue their series vs. the Phillies, who will counter with David Buchanan.
"Your home crowd is always behind you," said Harvey, who received a huge ovation from the Citi Field crowd during introductions before Monday's home opener. "For me, they've been great. They've always been extremely supportive and very uplifting for me. We're all excited to be home, and I'm specifically excited to pitch."
He's not alone. Met fans waited 593 days for the return of the pitcher who electrified as a callup in 2012 and captivated as a rookie before injuring his elbow in late 2013.
Three things to know about this game:
• Buchanan has not beaten the Mets in three career starts, but has held New York's current projected lineup to a .189 batting average against in 53 at-bats. David Wright (3-for-10) has had the most success against the 25-year-old righty, while Curtis Granderson (0-for-7) and Lucas Duda (1-for-9) have struggled against him.
• Mets manager Terry Collins will try to keep Harvey's pitch count below 100 once again as the 26-year old righty continues to build back strength and stamina. Harvey needed just 91 pitches in his debut to strike out nine and limit the Nationals to four hits over six innings. But he humbly called that performance "not good enough" and said he's looking for a "refined" effort Tuesday. "If I'm going to throw 90 pitches, I would like to get at least into the seventh," he said.
• It will be Harvey's first home start since Aug. 24, 2013, when he took a 3-0 loss to Detroit. Harvey is 4-5 in 18 career starts at Citi Field, where he owns a 1.89 ERA in 124 innings pitched. He has dominated the Phillies in his career with a 4-0 record and 1.08 ERA.