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Matt Harvey OK without opener assignments

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- New York Mets ace Matt Harvey offered no complaints Tuesday about being passed over for the team's Opening Day and home-opener assignments.

Harvey will start the third game of the season, on April 9 against the Washington Nationals in D.C. He then will pitch the second home game, on April 14 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Bartolo Colon will start on Opening Day. Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom gets the home opener a week later.

"For not throwing at all last year, I'm happy to be playing again," Harvey said. "So whatever is decided on when I get to throw, I'm going to be all excited and all for it. Obviously Bartolo, throwing 200 innings and getting 15 wins, is well-deserving of Opening Day. And all that Jacob did last year, he obviously deserves Opening Day at home. I'm happy to be throwing in the first series."

Harvey has an active 9 2/3 scoreless-innings streak in Grapefruit League play. He also has a 1.26 ERA in four starts as he returns from Tommy John surgery. He has two more spring-training assignments remaining, the first of which comes Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter.

"Everything feels good," Harvey said. "I think the big thing now is getting from 60 pitches to closer to 100. Obviously the weather is going to be warmer down here than it is up there. So getting a little bit extra prepared is something we definitely want to do in the next two starts."

Harvey tentatively is lined up to face Stephen Strasburg in the opening series' finale, although ESPN's Jim Bowden believes Strasburg ultimately will be pushed back because of an ankle injury and not face the Mets. Harvey and Strasburg had one of the most memorable matchups of Harvey's young career. Harvey took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning in what became a 7-1 win against the Nats on April 19, 2013. Fans at Citi Field gleefully serenaded Strasburg with chants of "Har-vey's better! Harvey's better!"

"I think it was kind of hard not to hear that," Harvey said Tuesday. "We got a big win that we needed and it was a fun game, for sure."

Manager Terry Collins earlier in spring training suggested Harvey's workload this upcoming season may be patterned after Adam Wainwright's return from Tommy John surgery with the Cardinals in 2012. Wainwright was not permitted to exceed 100 pitches until May 6 of that season, in his sixth regular-season start. Harvey said his early season pitch-count plan has not yet been discussed with him.

Harvey noted he has been so efficient with his pitch counts during spring training, perhaps he still can go deep into games even with tight reins in April. He needed only 60 pitches to navigate 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the New York Yankees on Sunday, in his most recent Grapefruit League start.

"I think it was kind of in my mind my last start against the Yankees," Harvey said. "So if I could throw 60 pitches in six innings, at least maybe [95 pitches or so] would get me into the eighth inning. As a starter, your goal is to keep the pitches down anyway. If I can get early contact and throw a lot of strikes, hopefully the pitch count won't really make a difference."

Harvey's start on April 9 will come 593 days after his last regular-season appearance. He underwent Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22, 2013.

"For me, I'm just excited to be playing," Harvey said. "That's an important series for us, obviously, opening up the season."