He’s back: Matt Harvey looked like Matt Harvey in his return from Tommy John surgery

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It’s like he never left.

Matt Harvey returned from Tommy John surgery this afternoon for his first regular season game action in nearly 20 months and looked every bit as dominant as he did before blowing out his elbow.

Expected to be on a limit of around 90 pitches, Harvey tossed six shutout innings and finished with 91 pitches. He cruised through five shutout innings on 77 pitches and manager Terry Collins let him bat for himself in the top of the sixth frame. Harvey struck out after unsuccessfully trying to bunt against Stephen Strasburg and then tossed a 1-2-3 sixth inning.

Harvey overpowered Nationals No. 3 hitter Bryce Harper, who struck out three times in three at-bats swinging through mid-90s high heat each time. And he struck out the final batter he faced, Clint Robinson, for his ninth whiff of the game.

Harvey’s final line:

– 6 innings
– 4 hits
– 0 runs
– 1 walk
– 9 strikeouts
– 91 pitches
– 63 strikes

Harvey now has a 2.33 ERA and 270/58 K/BB ratio in 244 career innings. And he looked as ruggedly handsome as ever, too.

Max Scherzer (hamstring) leaves start vs. Mets after just 1 inning

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WASHINGTON — Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer left his start for the Nationals against the New York Mets after just 27 pitches Wednesday night due to a hamstring injury.

He was replaced in the top of the second by Erick Fedde.

Scherzer was not as sharp as usual at the outset Wednesday, going 2-0 counts against each of New York’s initial two batters, walking one and giving up a single to the other.

The Mets eventually went ahead in the first on Dominic Smith‘s sacrifice fly.

Scherzer entered the game with an 0-1 record and 2.84 ERA this season.