Matt Harvey allowed three runs and seven hits, while striking out four batters and walking none, in 4 1/3 innings Monday against the Tigers.
"I kind of looked up and realized how many pitches I had, and it's been a long time since I've gone into the fifth inning," Harvey said after the game. "Overall, I'm excited."
Harvey is expected to make at least one more Grapefruit League start before transitioning toward preparation for his season debut against the Braves in April.
"We were looking at two big keys today, one was maintaining his delivery and the second was better command, and we saw both," Terry Collins said about Harvey's start Monday. "Today, his velocity picked up, but he maintained his velocity. I thought that was very important, to be able to go  pitches and still be at 93, 94, so those were keys for me."
Harvey's fastball was 92-94 MPH for the first few innings. In the third inning, he hit 95, 96, and 95 MPH with three straight pitches.
"It was nice to go out there today and kind of dial it up a little bit into the mid-90s," Harvey said after the game. "It felt real good, so definitely a positive move for me."
Harvey allowed two runs in 3 1/3 innings last Wednesday against the Marlins, after which pitching coach Dan Warthen said Harvey might have to work with a lower fastball velocity during the early part of the season as he continues working back from last year's surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
Harvey's average fastball velocity during his rookie season with the Mets in 2012 was 94.7 MPH. His average fastball in 2013 was 95.8 MPH; 95.9 MPH in 2015; and 94.5 MPH in 2016.
He's right, overall it was a good start, especially in the context of his previous outing and the total, premature freak out by some fans and reporters about his lack of velocity. Hopefully, he at least muffled that topic for a few days. In terms of his actual performance, he looked really solid during his first four innings. At one point, he retired eight of nine batters before Brendan Ryan's two-run single chased him out of the fifth inning.
However, he again looked to be losing gas as the game went on, which - for me - is still the bigger concern about Harvey's new form. It's not so much the velocity that worries me - because countless pitchers learn to do more with less. Instead, it's that he has essentially been a five-inning pitcher since having Tommy John surgery in 2014.