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Matt Harvey leaves game against Marlins with reported strained lower back

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New York's ace went to the mound to start the eighth inning, but he was pulled with some apparent discomfort.

Andy Marlin

Matt Harvey bounced back from his worst start of the season with a great performance against the same Marlins team that he struggled against a week ago. The big righty struck out six batters in seven inning while walking no one and allowing just one run.

Harvey appeared ready to continue his outing into the eighth -- he was only at 93 pitches and had even hit a single in the bottom of the seventh -- but was soon removed from the game with a mysterious ailment. The Mets called it lower back tightness, and Kevin Burkhardt of SNY later reported that Harvey had suffered a lower back strain, which sounds a bit more serious.

In the same report, Burkhardt cited a source that had told him that Zack Wheeler was set to debut in Atlanta during a series that begins on June 17. That's different than the report we heard earlier that Wheeler would debut against the Cubs next weekend.

All that could be moot if Harvey is forced to miss a start with this injury. If that's the case, Wheeler may start for the Mets as soon as Friday versus the Cubs.