By Ed Coleman
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The Mets got their first spring look at Zack Wheeler on Saturday. On Sunday in Kissimmee, they saw a battery that they hope has a very long life — Matt Harvey throwing to Travis d’Arnaud.
Harvey pitched his initial two innings of the spring against the Astros, concentrating on keeping his fastball down in the zone, and he thought d’Arnaud did an excellent job of helping him get strikes.
The young catcher has soft hands and a good demeanor, and Harvey believes that his major-league time is not far off.
Only once did they not appear to be on the same page . Harvey shook off d’Arnaud several times before the catcher trotted out to the mound to have a word with his pitcher, and Harvey joked about it afterward.
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For his part, all things considered, d’Arnaud thought it was a pretty good start for the combination.
So what did he think of Harvey?
And d’Arnaud also summed up his credo of catching.
For Harvey, it was a solid beginning.
So is it easier or less stressful for him this spring, knowing that he’s more established and isn’t trying to make the team like he was last year?
Manager Terry Collins thinks that Harvey does and should have a different mindset than he did last year.
And after finishing strong last season, Harvey just wants to pick up where he left off.
The Mets and Astros played to a nine-inning, seven-all tie on Sunday. The hitting stars were Jordany Valdespin (two-run HR), Jamie Hoffman (solo HR), Josh Satin (2 doubles, 2 RBIs) and Colin Cowgill (two hits, RBI, SB). Harvey gave up a solo homer to ex-Met Fernando Martinez, Jeurys Familia had a shaky inning, Josh Edgin surrendered the tying run in the ninth but got out of a bases-loaded jam and lefty Aaron Laffey hurled two scoreless innings.
Lucas Duda had a rough afternoon with the golden sombrero — four strikeouts in 4 at-bats. Duda is working on a new stance, and he obviously has not taken to yet. But Collins says it will come.
Jon Niese and Dillon Gee both pitched against the University of Michigan in Port St. Lucie at Tradition Field, and they both had similar lines — two innings, three hits, one run and three strikeouts. Gee walked one and Niese didn’t walk any. Wilmer Flores, who homered in the intrasquad game on Friday, homered again in a 5-2 Mets win.
Matt Harvey pitching to Travis d’Arnaud. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it Mets fans? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…