Matt Harvey throws off mound for first time since Tommy John surgery

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Mets right-hander Matt Harvey threw off a mound today for this first time since he underwent Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his elbow last October. It wasn’t much. He only made 15 tosses, mostly at low intensity, but he told Mike Vorkunov of the Newark Star-Ledger that everything felt good.

Harvey has repeatedly said that he would like to get a chance to pitch in the majors this season, but the Mets aren’t going to rush him back. The plan calls for him to ramp up his throwing program next Tuesday in preparation for the instructional league in Florida. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said today that there’s a chance he could also make one start in the Arizona Fall League. If all goes well during his rehab process, he should have a normal spring training and start the 2015 season on time.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.