Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Harvey Not Whining about Opener

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Harvey Not Whining about Opener

Article excerpt

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Matt Harvey had plans of beating the Nationals on opening day, but he's fine with handing it off to Bartolo Colon.

"Bartolo's got that covered," Harvey said Tuesday morning.

After being passed over for opening day and the home opener, Harvey said he has no qualms that he won't get the ball in either game. The returning ace will start the third game -- against Washington -- and is lined up for the second home game against Philadelphia.

Colon has the season opener, while Jacob deGrom starts the home opener April 13.

"[I didn't throw] at all last year, and I'm happy to be playing again. Whatever is decided on when I get to throw, I'm going to be all excited and all for," Harvey said. "Obviously Bartolo, throwing 200 innings and getting 15 wins, is well deserving of opening day, and all that Jacob did last year, he obviously deserves opening day at home.

"I'm happy to be throwing in the first series and obviously extremely happy about throwing at home."

Starting opening day is an honor for pitchers, and Harvey made it known last September he planned on starting the opener. He said he had penciled in a "W" for the April 6 game that will mark his return from Tommy John surgery in 2013.

Ultimately, that time off eliminated Harvey from being a candidate for opening day, as manager Terry Collins said early in the process he was considering all of his starters except Harvey. While Harvey was sidelined, deGrom won rookie of the year and Colon led the Mets in innings and wins. Collins chose to honor them.

Harvey has been consistent in saying he has no problems with the decision, recognizing his year off. He previously told The Record the other choices were more deserving, and it would've been different had he pitched last year and performed like he did in 2013.

By having Harvey start the third game and the second home game, it also ensures the Mets will receive back-to-back large crowds at Citi Field to start the season. …

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