Ready to rise again, Harvey mingles with fans

Mets star drops by Delta Dugout ahead of next start as team sits in first

Ready to rise again, Harvey mingles with fans

NEW YORK -- The most popular active Major League player in New York, post-Derek Jeter era, was standing in the middle of a lunchtime madhouse scene on Tuesday, right next to the Flatiron Building at 23rd and Broadway.

It was Matt Harvey Eve. On Wednesday, Mets fans will pack Citi Field, as usual for his starts. This one is against the Giants, and there will even be a Matt Kave promotion for the occasion, an area where fans can sit together in a special Harvey section complete with black "superhero mask" that comes with the Baseline Box ticket for just $33.

In Flatiron, fans were able to score some prizes, including free game tickets as part of a Delta Dugout promotion. People stopped to take pictures, some shouted "Let's Go Mets" and some just wanted a glimpse of Harvey. He is one of the key reasons the Mets are atop the National League East and daring to dream of October. He was there for about an hour before heading to Queens.

"I know just from hearing the excitement, from walking the city or somebody screaming out of the car, 'Keep it going!' It's exciting," said Harvey.

Matt Harvey (right) with a Mets fan at Tuesday's Delta Dugout event. (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

"For us, I've been fortunate to play with Wally Backman, who was an '86 Met, and those guys, and Tim Teufel, who's in the dugout with us every day, those guys know how to win. Teufel tells us what it was like when the team was winning, and we're trying to bring that back."

Harvey (6-3) got back on track in his last start, winning for the first time since the start of May. He attributed it that day at least partly to "anger," not surprising for someone with an 0.98 WHIP. Here are his overall thoughts heading into a third career start against the Giants:

"Pretty good, considering I missed the whole year [in 2014]. Everything feels great, the body feels great, and obviously there are a couple of games in there that are going to happen in a Major League season, but there's still a long way to go. I still have probably 20 or so starts left. Staying positive, not worrying about what happened in the last couple of games is part of a Major League season.

"Somebody once said, 'You're going to have 30 starts -- 10 of them you're not going to feel so great, 10 of them are going to be so-so and 10 of them are going to be on point.' Obviously there are about 20 left, so hopefully the next 20 will be much better."

When asked if he thinks the Mets can win the NL East, Harvey said, "Yeah, I think we can."

He then emphasizes the here and now.

"We don't look to the future," Harvey said, swarmed by media amid the loud throng. "We're here to win now, and that's our goal. If we start worrying about next year or the year after, with what we might have, then we're not doing our job to win now and we're not focused on now. With Bartolo [Colon] and [Jon] Niese and [Jacob] deGrom and Noah [Syndergaard], our job is to win for the New York Mets right now. We can't worry about what's to come, because we're doing everything we can to play now and win now."

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.