Right-handers Matt Harvey and Justin Dunn, once the present and future of the New York Mets, are scheduled to meet Wednesday when the Seattle Mariners continue their series with the Orioles in Baltimore.
When Dunn was selected in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Mets, the "Dark Knight" still ruled Gotham.
But Harvey's reign was already starting to crumble. After returning from Tommy John surgery in 2013, Harvey led the Mets to the World Series in 2015. The next season ended with a diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome and another surgery.
Harvey won just five more games for the Mets before largely unsuccessful stops with the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals and now the Orioles.
"When you start an All-Star Game and then you pitch in a World Series, I think the last thing you ever think of is how excited you'll be to make a team again," Harvey told the Baltimore Sun after making the Orioles in spring training.
While Harvey is still trying to hang on, Dunn is set for his first full season in the majors after being traded by the Mets to Seattle on Dec. 3, 2018, with top prospect Jarred Kelenic, among others, for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz.
Harvey (0-1, 5.59 ERA), who went 0-3 with an 11.57 ERA in seven appearances for the Royals last season and is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his only start against the Orioles back in 2019, spent several days this offseason at the Baseball Performance Center in Pleasantville, N.J., and worked with trainers who use data and imaging to help pitchers.
"I'm not throwing 100 (mph) anymore, so I don't quite have the hop and all that stuff like I used to," Harvey said. "But I think really, digging down and actually pitching is kind of what I'll have to do and, you know, I can still low-to-mid-90s, which I feel definitely is playable.
"Just have to be a little more fine with location and really just kind of learn how to pitch all over again and not just throw."
Dunn (0-0, 5.79 ERA) went 4-1 with a 4.34 ERA in 10 starts in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
His first start this season was a bit wild, as he allowed three runs on just one hit -- with eight bases on balls -- in 4 2/3 innings against the Chicago White Sox.
"When I got in the stretch, it felt a little foreign to me today," said Dunn, who will face the Orioles for the first time. "I was getting a little quick, honestly I divided my attention between holding some really good runners they had over there, trying to execute a pitch and keep us in the game. I probably put a little too much emphasis on controlling the running game and not executing pitches and I started to get a little too fine. But it is what it is. I can't really make excuses. That can't happen and I've got to build off of it."
The Orioles snapped a four-game skid -- and Seattle's three-game winning streak -- with a 7-6 victory in the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Mariners won the opener 4-3 in eight innings.
--Field Level Media