PHILADELPHIA -- As Matt Harvey sprinted toward first base, trying to nail down a routine out in the sixth inning of a 14-4 win over the Phillies, he felt the slightest of tweaks in his left hamstring. Harvey motioned to the Mets' dugout, where manager Terry Collins and trainer Ray Ramirez emerged to chat. Moments later, Harvey was headed back to the clubhouse, his night complete.
It was a harrowing moment for the Mets, but not one that should haunt them for any length of time. Harvey said after the game that he experienced nothing more than a cramp, and should be fine to make his next start Sunday in Miami.
"I ran over and took my last step and it just kind of cramped up on me a little bit," Harvey said. "It's nothing serious."
If he had to guess, Harvey says he may have cramped up due to his lengthy waits between innings, sitting in the dugout as the Mets rapped out seven home runs against Phillies pitching. The Mets completed three full rotations of their batting order in the game's first four innings, making it difficult for Harvey to keep warm.
But the right-hander nonetheless pitched well in his second start, hitting 97 mph on his fastball for the first time since surgery last July. He struck out six and walked one, allowing his only runs on a Maikel Franco leadoff homer in the second and a Michael Saunders fielder's choice in the fourth. In the fifth, one inning before departing, Harvey struck out Odubel Herrera on a 2-2 curveball to strand the bases loaded.
"I was locating pretty well," Harvey said. "I was able to get a couple big strikeouts when I needed to. For the most part, I was over the zone with pretty much everything."
Through two starts, Harvey is 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA, demonstrating at least some of the abilities that once made him the staff ace. Barring an unexpected setback, his quest for improvement should continue without issue next time out against the Marlins.
"We'll certainly get him treatment," Collins said. "Hopefully, it's nothing serious."