Prior to his Major League debut in 2012, Matt Harvey did not make an appearance with Class A Short Season Brooklyn during his sprint through the Minors. Now, working his way back from his fourth stint on the disabled list, the Mets right-hander has become the latest attraction in Coney Island.
"It was my first time here," Harvey told reporters Wednesday. "It was cool to see the roller coaster in the background, and all the guys were great."
Making his second start for the Cyclones, Harvey allowed one hit, struck out three and faced the minimum over three scoreless innings, getting through the outing in 36 pitches. The 28-year-old yielded one run on a hit and a walk in a one-inning appearance Saturday, throwing 18 pitches.
"That was the first time I've ever done a rehab start, so really just getting the timing back, the rhythm back," Harvey said. "I felt like I was able to do that more tonight and definitely look forward to my next outing and try and keep the rhythm going from the first inning on."
The seventh overall pick in the 2010 Draft went down in August 2013 with a torn elbow ligament that required Tommy John surgery and kept him sidelined for the entire 2014 season. In July 2016, he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and missed the remainder of that campaign.
Harvey pitched to a 5.25 ERA in 13 starts this year before being placed on the DL on June 16 with a stress injury to the scapula bone in his right shoulder.
"My arm feels great right now and I was able to get three innings under my belt for the first time in a long time," he said. "The next one is trying to ramp up and go a little bit further and see where we go from there."
Harvey said he was unaware of the Mets' plans for him and wasn't sure whether his next start also would be with the Cyclones.
In the first inning Wednesday, he sandwiched a pair of groundouts around T.J. Nichting's fly ball to the warning track in left field. Garrett Copeland smacked a one-out single through the right side in the second and moved up on a wild pitch before Harvey retired Luke Ringhofer on a fly to left and picked Copeland off at second.
The former All-Star struck out the side in the third, the first two IronBirds going down swinging before Jean Carrillo was called out on strikes.
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"As a starter and you know you're throwing one inning or however many pitches, it's hard to get comfortable and find a rhythm," Harvey said. "It's definitely a process and I look at that as more of a step forward than anything. You want to have good results, but if your mechanics feel well and the ball comes out well, it'll be just fine."
As soon as Harvey left, Aberdeen scored five runs in the fourth en route to a 6-2 victory.
Harvey's counterpart on Wednesday was seventh-ranked Orioles prospect Hunter Harvey, who also was making his second New York-Penn League start of the season. The 22-year-old also allowed one hit over three scoreless innings, striking out seven -- his highest total since July 18, 2014 with Class A Delmarva.
Multiple injuries limited the 2013 first-round pick to five appearances last season and his 2017 debut came on July 19. After three starts in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, Harvey threw two innings for Aberdeen on Aug. 9, fanning three and issuing three walks.