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Mets: Revisiting the best moments of Matt Harvey with the Amazins

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets reacts after the final out of the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals during game five of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field on November 1, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Royals defeated the Mets 7-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets reacts after the final out of the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals during game five of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field on November 1, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Royals defeated the Mets 7-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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PHOENIX, AZ – JULY 26: Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch in his first MLB start against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 26, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

THE DEBUT: JULY 26, 2012

Location: Phoenix, AZ
Opponent: Arizona Diamondbacks
Result: Mets W
Game Score: 70

After a solid start with the minor-league affiliate Buffalo Bisons (now a part of Toronto’s farm system), Harvey got his first taste of big-league action in downtown Phoenix at Chase Field.

Unlike the rest of the Mets’ pitching staff, he did not disappoint.

Harvey got right to work, striking out the first batter he saw. He then did some damage with the lumber, collecting a two-out double in his first professional at-bat.

Harvey finished the game with a franchise record for strikeouts in a pitching debut (11) and became the first player since 1900 to strike out 10 or more batters and get two hits in his major league debut.

Final Line: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 11 K’s

BEATING THE BOMBERS: APRIL 25, 2015

Location: The Bronx
Opponent: New York Yankees
Result: Mets W
Game Score: 71

Entering this matchup, Harvey seemed to be on opposite ends of the spectrum to his opponent. Though one of this generation’s greatest southpaws, Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia was entering one of the worst years of his career, taking the mound with an 0-3 record.

Though the Met bats were plenty loud, Harvey’s performance commanded just as much attention. It wasn’t one of his tightest outings, but it did feature some of the best defensive plays of Harvey’s career.

The first of these came in the bottom of the second inning. With a man on first and no outs, Yankees catcher Brian McCann reached for a fastball up and out of the zone. The ball tapped the end of his bat, sending a light grounder into the infield grass.

Harvey came off the mound, bare-handed the ball, and made the play to first. He beat McCann by a single step, allowing the runner to advance but avoiding a potential jam in the process.

The next addition to his Gold Glove reel came in the very next inning. The beloved Alex Rodriguez was early on a hanging curveball, which he rocketed right back up the middle.

Harvey maintained his wits, catching the ball and protecting his shins, before taking a few steps to throw out Rodriguez and end the inning. The Mets would go on to hammer Sabathia to the tune of three homers and 7 runs in just five frames.

The win pushed Harvey to a 4-0 record, with his ERA sitting at 3.04.

Final Line: 8.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K’s

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