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.

Marlins give Don Mattingly two-year extension

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The Marlins have announced that they have inked manager Don Mattingly to a two-year contract extensions. There’s a third year in the form of a mutual option.

Mattingly is finishing up the final year of the four-year contract he signed with the Marlins prior to the 2016 season. He’s 272-364 in that period and the club has lost 99 games already this season. The current bad run, however, obviously corresponds with a massive rebuild the team began undertaking following the 2017 season and the team’s change in ownership. Mattingly has not had much to work with over the past two seasons but he has likewise, largely, kept the team on as even a keel as one could hope under the circumstances. He has certainly impressed the Marlins’ brass enough to take the unusual step of keeping on a manager they inherited from a previous ownership and front office group.

In other news, the Marlins also announced a two-year contract extension for shortstop Miguel Rojas valued at $10.25 million. There’s a vesting option for a third year. The deal buys out Rojas’ final year of arbitration eligibility and one year of free agency, plus that option.

Rojas, 30, is hitting .285/.335/.383 (OPS+ 92) this year.