VIDEO: Matt Harvey tosses four scoreless innings in final spring tune-up

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It was only natural to temper expectations for Matt Harvey this spring while he worked his way back from Tommy John surgery, but he has done nothing except pick up from where he left off.

Harvey tossed four scoreless innings against the Cardinals this afternoon in his final tune-up of the spring. The Mets’ ace allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out four. You can check out the video below:

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Harvey wraps up his spring with a 1.19 ERA and 21/1 K/BB ratio over 22 2/3 innings. That’s right, just one walk to 83 total batters. Command is often the last thing to bounce back after surgery, so you can’t help but be encouraged by how fantastic he has looked. The lengthier layoff might have paid dividends here.

Harvey’s last regular season start was on August 24, 2013. He’ll make his return next Thursday against the Nationals in the Mets’ third game of the season. According to Marc Carig of the New York Daily News, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen said today that Harvey won’t throw more than 100 pitches in his season debut.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.