Matt Harvey hopes to start throwing on February 22

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Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is a severe long shot to throw a pitch in the majors this season, but he continues to make progress in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, Harvey said Thursday that he’s aiming to begin throwing on February 22. That’s just two weeks from today.

“They said I should be able to start throwing four months after the surgery and that’s Feb. 22, and I haven’t had any setbacks,” Harvey, who had elbow surgery in October, told The Post.“I can’t wait. Even if it’s 10 feet, I just want to pick up a ball. As if right now, I don’t see why I wouldn’t be able to do that.”

During an appearance on WFAN yesterday, Harvey said that his rehab is going “really smoothly” and that he recently resumed regular weight training. He plans to report to spring training along with the other pitchers and catchers on February 15.

Harvey continues to hint at the possibility of pitching for the Mets before the end of the season, but MetsBlog notes that GM Sandy Alderson told a group of season-ticket holders Thursday that it’s unlikely he’ll pitch for the club this year even if they are in a pennant race. The typical recovery time from Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months. Harvey had his surgery on October 22 last year.

Albert Pujols hit his 597th career home run

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Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.

Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.

Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.

Chris Sale’s streak of starts with at least 10 strikeouts ends

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Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.

After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.

Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.