One former Mets nemesis believes big things could be in store for Matt Harvey and his teammates in 2018.
Hall of Famer and longtime Braves manager Bobby Cox told the NY Post's Kevin Kernan that he came away impressed by the right-hander's first start of Spring Training on Wednesday against Atlanta.
"He looked like the old Harvey for me. He looked like a No. 1,'' Cox said. "The velocity was really good. He's in great shape. He looked super.
"The velocity and where he put the ball on the black ... Everything was good. It was a great start for me to see that, very, very impressive. I watched him warm up in the bullpen as well, I was super impressed. His mound presence was great."
Harvey allowed one run on two hits in two innings, striking out two and walking one. His fastball was clocked as high as 96 mph and sat consistently between 93 and 95 mph.
The 28-year-old Harvey returned from Thoracic Outlet surgery last season, and also dealt with an injury to his scapula that kept him out of action from June 15 to Sept. 2. And he said earlier in ST that he might have tried to do too much too soon last season.
Harvey, who is eligible for free agency after this season, said earlier this month that he has a lot left to prove.
"Going in to this year, I strive to be better than I was before," Harvey said on Thursday morning while speaking for the first time since last season. "There's no reason why I can't. I'm still 28, 29 years old. There's a lot left in the tank. I'm ready to go, I'm excited. The ball is coming out better than it has in a long time. I'm just excited."
On the backs of Hall of Famer pitchers Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz, Cox led the Braves to 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005, winning the World Series in 1995. Cox, whose 2,504 regular season wins are fourth-most in baseball history, is optimistic the Mets' starters can carry them back to the playoffs, assuming they stay healthy.
"The Mets have a great chance,'' Cox said. "The Nationals are tough, no doubt, but those guys with the Mets are nasty. You've got five No. 1s, how many teams have that?"