As well as Matt Harvey pitched last season, there's one thing he couldn't accomplish: winning a game at Citi Field. All three of the rookie's victories came away from his spacious home ball park.
"It's a new season and everybody wants to get that first win out of the way," Harvey said Monday. "Pitching at Citi Field is awesome and being from Connecticut originally, obviously coming down to New York and seeing a lot of games when I was a kid, it's something special to suit up in a uniform now and have a chance to pitch."
Harvey makes his 2013 debut Wednesday at home against the Padres. Harvey, one of the pitchers the team hopes to build around, had a spectacular spring, pitching to a 2.96 ERA spanning seven starts. He's faced the Padres once in his career, giving up five runs in five innings in a loss.
"Wednesday is going to be a lot of fun for me," Harvey said. "I'm really excited about it and after watching [Jon] Niese out there [Monday], it was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to my turn."
Harvey, a heralded pitching prospect, went 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA in 10 starts after his promotion in July last year. His first career start on July 26 against Arizona was quite a debut as he struck out 11 and picked up the win.
One of the challenges for Harvey will be trying to be successful in his second time around. Teams and batters will be more knowledgeable about his repertoire and how he likes to handle batters. The 2010 first-round pick recognizes that he's going to have to adjust his game to make sure he stays a step ahead.
"You can't get into a routine and rhythm of doing the same things over and over again. I think that kind of carried over into spring training too, facing a couple of teams, the Nationals, things like that," Harvey said. "Those guys have seen me before. It's just going out and attacking the zone and try to mix in different pitches in different counts and hopefully not leading every guy off with a fastball, or something like that. Throw strikes too. Have to throw your curveball for a strike, your slider for a strike, if you can't do that then obviously they're going to get a better look."