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Mets Morning News: Mets fall to Nationals but look forward to Harvey

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Your Friday morning dose of Mets and Major League Baseball news, notes, and links.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

In their second Grapefruit League game, the Mets fell to the Nationals 5-4. Bartolo Colon started and pitched two perfect innings. While on the offensive end, John Mayberry Jr. and Eric Campbell both contributed home runs.

Matt Harvey returns to the mound for his first game action tomorrow as he starts opposite David Price of the Tigers. Terry Collins acknowledged the the hype that surrounds this moment, but hopes Harvey will be able to calm himself.

Ron Darling had high praise for Matt Harvey while discussing Harvey's return. He called him the "Righty Kershaw," and fully expects him to return to his status as the staff ace.

Zack Wheeler responded to Bryce Harper's comments about winning a championship this season. He asserted that the Mets are "going to make it hard for him to get that ring."

Around the NL East

On the Nationals' side of yesterday's game, Max Scherzer started and pitched two innings. Defensively, Ryan Zimmerman began transitioning to first base.

The Marlins fell to the Cardinals 4-1. While at Fish Stripes, Michael Jong analyzed Christian Yelich's ability to avoid popups, and thus maintain a high BABIP.

The Phillies lost to the Astros 6-3. Cliff Lee started and pitched two innings.

The Braves got their first win of the spring yesterday against the Tigers. However, there was ominous news, as Mike Minor is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews about his shoulder.

Around Major League Baseball

Jeff Passan reported that Cuban free agent Hector Olivera has damage to his UCL. However, Olivera's representatives refuted this, as reported by Jesse Sanchez and Ben Badler.

The MLBPA issued a statement regarding the leaks about Josh Hamilton's pending discipline. The statement condemned those leaking the information, and stated that the Player's Association would make every effort to help Hamilton.

Hunter Pence has a broken arm and will miss 6-8 weeks. The injury occurred when he was hit by a pitch during a Cactus League game against the Cubs.

Phil Coke signed a minor league deal with the Cubs that could be worth $2.25 million if he makes the opening day roster. There was talk that the Mets might consider Coke due to their desire to sign a left-handed reliever to complement Josh Edgin.

Yesterday at AA

Kevin Duffy was inspired by Travis d'Arnaud's jersey number swap with bench coach Bob Geren to write about the story of a three-way jersey exchange back in 1974. A series of events during spring training led to a trade between Felix Millan, Dave Schneck, and Teddy Martinez.

Steve Schreiber handicapped this year's King of Spring Training contest. Vote for who you think will impress this spring.

Daniel Stein-Sayles wrote about the precarious case of Rafael Montero. Montero was much more highly regarded last season, but has since been passed in the depth chart by Jacob deGrom, and the Mets are seemingly more excited about prospects Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. It will be interesting to see how they handle the young pitcher this season.

This date in Mets history

While the start of spring training is exciting, it still brings a lot of ultimately meaningless moments. Some of these moments have occurred on this date in past years.