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Morning Briefing: Happy Harvey Day!

WASHINGTON --

FIRST PITCH: It’s finally Matt Harvey Day!

For the first time in 593 days, Harvey pitches in a regular-season game for the New York Mets. He opposes Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals at 1:05 p.m. ET Thursday, in a rematch of a memorable April 19, 2013 encounter.

Harvey had a 1.19 ERA and walked only one batter in 22 2/3 Grapefruit League innings. He likely will be held to about 90 pitches.

Minor league seasons also begin Thursday. Steven Matz is the Opening Day starter for Triple-A Las Vegas at Fresno. Matt Koch starts for Double-A Binghamton at Akron. Robert Gsellman pitches for high-A St. Lucie versus Bradenton. Corey Oswalt starts for low-A Savannah at West Virginia.

THURSDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • Jacob deGrom surrendered a two-run homer to Ryan Zimmerman in the first inning and the Mets lost to the Nats, 2-1, Wednesday. Curtis Granderson was called out on strikes by plate umpire Mike Everitt on a disputed full-count pitch in the second inning, which stranded the bases loaded. (See the PITCHf/x data below in the tweet of the day. ESPN’s Mark Simon labeled the location "as borderline as can be.") After a torrid spring training at the plate, the Mets (1-1) have scored only one earned run in two games. Of course, they have faced Max Scherzer and Jordan Zimmermann. DeGrom was more upset about not getting a second-inning bunt down than serving up Zimmerman’s homer. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Record, Newsday and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • General manager Sandy Alderson went through a production during Wednesday’s pregame managerial news conference. His aim was to suggest that Terry Collins makes the lineup. "The one thing the manager has in his power is this," Collins subsequently said while displaying a lineup card. "He's got one hammer, and that's who plays. And I'm certainly very, very lucky to have that hammer." Asked about repeatedly poking fun at the Mets, Alderson told Mike Vorkunov at NJ.com: "I guess I'm not worried about my future. It's limited." Read more in the Times, Journal, Newsday, Post and at MLB.com.

  • Read more about Harvey’s return from columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post as well as in the Daily News, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • After the Nats signed Scherzer, Bryce Harper asked, "Where’s my ring?" Harper stood by that comment Wednesday, but also was complimentary about the Mets and a potentially brewing rivalry. "I truly believe that comment I said about the ring," Harper told columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post. "I believe in the guys in my clubhouse. But you look at the Mets and you see their starters. Whew. I mean for the next 10 years, it’s unbelievable. I get chills just thinking about it."

  • Lucas Duda will sit against a left-hander this weekend when the Mets face the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Read more in Newsday.

  • Although Jeurys Familia technically is the closer in Jenrry Mejia’s absence, Collins can foresee using recently acquired Jerry Blevins for part of a ninth inning.

  • Bronx native T.J. Rivera was featured in Wednesday’s "Farm report."

  • From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear rues pitching and defense when it is used against the Mets. ... Mets Report believes the lineup is coming from the front office. ... Rising Apple expects tough roster decisions when Vic Black and Bobby Parnell are ready to return from the disabled list.

BIRTHDAYS: Eric Campbell turns 28. ... Graeme Lloyd is 48. ... Bullpen catcher Eric Langill is 36.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: Will Harvey’s spring-training dominance continue in the regular season?