"It was fun -- a lot of fun," Mets third baseman David Wright said. "For the first Spring Training game, that type of intensity, I think it speaks for the confidence that the fans have in us this year. It was a good atmosphere, especially for Spring Training. It was just fun to take the field today."
For the Mets, the day was entirely about Harvey. Appearing in his first game in 18 months, Harvey struck out three, broke two bats and breezed through a pair of perfect innings, saying afterward that he was particularly pleased with the state of his curveball. But Price was nearly as good for the Tigers in his two innings, emerging unscathed despite hitting Daniel Murphy with a pitch and walking Michael Cuddyer.
Murphy left the game with a bruised right hand, but did not consider it anything worrisome.
It was not until Noah Syndergaard, the Mets' top-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, entered the game that offense began flowing more freely. The Tigers took an early lead on a Jose Iglesias RBI single and a Bryan Holaday sacrifice fly in the fourth inning off Syndergaard, but the Mets took a lead on Matt den Dekker's two-run double in the seventh. An inning later, Aaron Westlake tied things back up for the Tigers. Matt Reynolds won it for the Mets with a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth.
"I felt really good actually," Syndergaard said. "I tried to stay within myself, tried to repeat my delivery, and went out there and had some fun -- the most important part."
With Harvey on the mound, nearly everyone did.
"I'm a big fan, so it's good for baseball that he's back," Price said. "Hopefully he can stay healthy and be the same guy he was before he got hurt."
Mets Up Next: Now that Harvey's long-awaited return is in the books, the Mets will turn their attention to a pair of younger pitchers also boasting bright futures. At Tradition Field, National League Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom will make his first spring start in a 1:10 p.m. ET split-squad game against the Braves airing on MLB.TV. The other half of the roster will travel down to Jupiter, Fla., for a 1:05 p.m. matchup against the Marlins, with left-handed pitching prospect Steven Matz starting.