KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The positive COVID-19 test that forced the Cincinnati Reds to postpone their two games against Pittsburgh over the weekend has also forced the Royals’ Matt Harvey to delay his year-long wait to return to a big league mound.
The Reds and Royals were supposed to begin a two-game series in Kansas City on Tuesday night, but Major League Baseball decided to postpone the game to give Cincinnati more time for testing. Now, the clubs will play a doubleheader Wednesday with the first seven-inning game taking place at 5:05 p.m. and the second about 30 minutes later.
“It’s not strange. It’s more exciting than anything,” said Harvey, who pitched against the Royals for the New York Mets in the 2015 World Series, and will be starting Game 2 against Trevor Bauer (2-0) after looking good at the club’s alternate training site.
Harvey hasn’t pitched since the Los Angeles Angels released him last July.
“A couple years ago there was probably going to be a few more fans that game than there will be,” Harvey said. “I haven’t been going into a season as short as this without an actual spring training, and jumping right into throwing some innings at the alternate site and working up to five innings, I’ve been pretty thrilled with how my body has responded.’
Harvey was once considered one of the best pitchers in baseball, going 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA while earning an All-Star nod with the Mets in 2013. But after a series of injuries, the hard-throwing right-hander has struggled to regain the same form, bouncing through the Reds, Angels and Athletics before arriving in Kansas City.
In his last outing for the Angels, Harvey allowed six runs on seven hits and five walks in a loss to the Astros.