Morning Briefing: Harvey Day, back home

FIRST PITCH: Coming off a dramatic win in Denver on Thursday, which capped off an impressive four-city road trip in which they went 7-4, the Mets will be back at Citi Field on Friday and have their best pitcher on the mound.

Matt Harvey (7-1, 2.05) leads the National League in strikeouts (121), and leads Major League Baseball in opponent batting average (.188) and WHIP (0.88). And he should be well-rested, since he flew back to New York ahead of the team to prepare for Friday night's game.

The rest of the Mets might be a little tired after a late-night flight home from Colorado. But they also should be feeling good about themselves following the surprisingly good trip.

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Friday's news reports

• The signing of Marlon Byrd continues to pay dividends for the Mets. He was the hero on Thursday, both at the plate and in the field.

Read game recaps from the Daily News, Post, Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger, and Record.

Jeremy Hefner didn't get the win on Thursday, but he continues to look like a guy who belongs in the rotation. And Scott Rice continues to get critical outs out of the bullpen.

• The Mets won on Thursday despite giving David Wright his first full day off of the season. Wright was OK with the decision.

Ruben Tejada will begin a rehab assignment this weekend, but manager Terry Collins said Tejada will have to earn his job back from Omar Quintanilla. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, and Record.

• It's going to be an exciting weekend in Queens, with Harvey pitching Friday and Zack Wheeler making his home debut Sunday.

Wheeler did some work with pitching coach Dan Warthen on Thursday, trying to avoid tipping his pitches. Read more in the Daily News, and Newsday.

From the bloggers ... John Franco would like to pitch in a Mets Old-Timers Game, according to Mets Police. ... John Delcos at Mets Report on the Players Association, and whether it shoulders some responsibility for Jonathon Niese's injury. ... The Mets should deal Bobby Parnell for Nick Castellanos, according to Rising Apple.

BIRTHDAYS: Richard Hidalgo turns 38 years old Friday. The former outfielder from Venezuela spent most of his nine-year major league career with the Astros, but spent half the 2004 season with the Mets after being acquired in mid-June in exchange for David Weathers and Jeremy Griffiths. Hidalgo hit .228 in 86 games with the Mets, with 21 home runs and 52 RBIs. His finest season was in 2000, when he hit .314 with 44 homers and 122 RBIs for Houston. He last played in the big leagues in 2005.


YOU'RE UP: Who are you more excited to watch this weekend, Harvey or Wheeler?