SI NOW

August 31, 2015

MATT HARVEY

The Mets' 26-year-old ace, who's 11--7 after sitting out 2014 due to Tommy John surgery, discusses his return to the mound and being part of a rotation compared with one of the greatest ever.

MAGGIE GRAY: How was it to bounce back after surgery on your right elbow?

MATT HARVEY: There were a lot of ups and downs. First, going through such an amazing rehab process, feeling great ... things were really easy and there were no setbacks, you feel good. Then you come back and get into the season, get on the mound and start adding up some innings and try to get used to being out there every fifth day. That was a little tough. There were definitely some times there when things didn't feel all that great: soreness, fatigue. But as the season goes on, you have to stay focused and realize that it's a long haul. As much as those times aren't fun, you know there's much more baseball that has to be played for us to turn things around.

MG: High praise from Hall of Famer John Smoltz, who said that you and the Mets' pitching staff have more talent than the 1990 Braves' rotation. What do you think when you hear yourself compared with a rotation that included two eventual Hall of Famers?

MH: I think there is a long way to go for us to live up to those guys. Growing up and being able to watch those guys do what they did in Atlanta was great. For us, we definitely keep our heads down and keep our focus. But just to hear John Smoltz even say something like that—a guy who just happens to be someone I loved watching when I was growing up more than anybody—it keeps that drive going even more.

For more of Harvey's interview, plus the SI Now archive, go to SI.com/sinow

"I think there is a long way to go for us to live up to those guys."

—Matt Harvey

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PHOTOMIKE STOBE/GETTY IMAGES (HARVEY) PHOTORICHARD HEATHCOTE/GETTY IMAGES (DAY) PHOTOBILL WIPPERT/AP (HARVIN) PHOTOAARON M. SPRECHER/AP (PETERSON) PHOTOBRANDON WADE/GETTY IMAGES (RANGERS) PHOTO

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