LOS ANGELES – Matt Harvey fired a second-speed balloon, which eased noticeably well out of his hand; better than any playing field in a long time. He glanced at the scoreboard in the right box to see if the radar gun had confirmed his bias.
It was 96 miles an hour.
"I had not seen this for a while," Harvey said. "It was good to know it's still in there."
Harvey paced through four scoreless innings on Friday night's Cincinnati Reds debut, giving up just one shot – on a flyball that would have to be caught – and striking two defeats in a match against the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers at the 6-2 victory in a Dodger Stadium set the tone.
Harvey, on a limited pitch count for what was his first start in over three weeks, required only 55 places to record 1
"It's a good first start," said Harvey, his ERA 2018 dropped from 7:00 to 6:10. "Obviously there are only four innings, there is a lot of work and a lot of season, but I think I can go out there and be successful and get a kick-off to help a team is very important."
Harvey, acquired by the New York Mets just three days earlier, picked up the hill after a 34-pitch, 21-minute top of the first innings. The 29-year-old right-handed woman felt what he called a "first-time shiver," and it did so as his first three fastballs turned away from the record. But Harvey came back to retire Chase Utley on a flyout, then did quick work of the next three batsmen. 
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Matt Harvey's career has been full of ups and downs, from a hero in Queens to an abrupt exit from New York.
 With a second-round goal, Cody Bellinger hit a towering flyball that threefold after right fielder Scott Schebler lost sight of him. Harvey pushed him aside, slapping Chris Taylor onto a high-powered gate, and then brought Max Muncy into midfield.
The next six batters were withdrawn in quick succession.
"He has thrown the ball well," he told Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman, who will restart Harvey against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. "All his pitches were working."
Harvey, once celebrated as "The Dark Knight", was arguably the game's biggest pitcher for a brief moment. He started the All-Star Game and finished fourth in the National League Cy Young Award vote during his first full major league season in 2013. Tommy John's surgery followed shortly thereafter, but Harvey was again dominant in 2015, a World Series-tied event The season he saw that he got significantly more innings than he and his agent, Scott Boras, had expected.
Harvey has not been the same since.
His 2016 season began at a slower pace and ended with surgery to repair Thoracic outlet syndrome. a process that has proved extremely difficult for pitchers to recover. His 2017 season included a stress break in his shoulder and was booked by fight. In 2018, he was demoted to Bullpen, then destined for use after refusing a trip to the minor leagues, and then against the recent Reds in exchange for a catcher, Devin Mesoraco, and some cash.
Harvey sent a 2.53 ERA in 427 innings from 2012 to 2015, however, garnering a 5.93 ERA in 212 1/3 innings with the Mets in the last three years, his speed dropped from 97 mph to about 93. He gave 21 runs , 33 hits and nine walks in his first 27 innings of 2018, but he spoke optimistically as he met his new Reds teammates on Thursday afternoon.
"It's in there," Harvey said then. "It just has to come out, I just have to relax and let it happen."
Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart did not have much time to prepare for Harvey & # 39; s debut, but he made the most of it. He came in around 1pm. PT, watched video by Harvey & # 39; s in 2013 and 2015, looks closely at its usage patterns and then references it to what it has been doing for the past three seasons.
"It helped," said Barnhart. "I felt we could use a good four-tone mix tonight, which was something I saw in the video, which was a bit lacking [in recent years] whether it was based on circumstances or something he did It did not sound like he wanted to do that, it just seemed that way. "
Harvey threw 31 fastballs on Friday. But Riggleman was impressed by the sharpness of his slider and his transformation, and Harvey also played a handful of corner balls. He only made two swinging hits and took nine of his outs through the air, a trend that will not play favorably in the relentless home ground of the Reds.
But Harvey experienced real, legitimate success Friday night, and that's valuable in itself
"I did not really know what to expect," Riggleman said. "I was just so happy for him."
"It's a competitive game, so whatever, you'll always try to get better and better each time," Harvey said when asked if four innings were enough to confirm his belief that he would continue to be an effective starter could. "Tonight was a good first start and we just have to keep working."