Remember how we got a little Mets nostalgia on Wednesday thanks to some stellar play in the World Baseball Classic from Ruben Tejada? Well, it’s gone into overload for the Italy-Cuba matchup.
These two squads faced off in Taiwan as a part of Pool A action. This matchup is Italy’s first of the tournament, while Cuba is coming off a 4-2 loss to the Netherlands. There was plenty of Mets flavor right off the bat, as Mike Piazza is Team Italy’s manager.
It also looks like he brought back his patented mustache for the competition, too. Check out this picture of him and Matt Harvey from a couple of weeks ago:
Matt Harvey and Mike Piazza are getting ready for the WBC 🇮🇹
— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) February 27, 2023
Clearly got the goatee going on. And now, here he is during Team Italy’s opener:
Mike Piazza The Manager pic.twitter.com/zFHFX8Q1CI
— Shea Station (@shea_station) March 9, 2023
But wait, the Mets nostalgia got better, folks. Harvey started this game against Cuba, which quickly led to a matchup that’ll make any 2015 Mets fan’s brain explode:
Yes, that’s Matt Harvey pitching to Yoenis Céspedes @shea_station pic.twitter.com/CJfeQcKMkA
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) March 9, 2023
That matchup led to a groundout for Cespedes, who is hitless through his first five at-bats of the tournament. You can see the result of this battle below:
Matt Harvey's return to the mound went about as well as anyone could have hoped, as the 33-year-old threw three scoreless innings this morning for Team Italy vs. Cuba in the WBC.
That included a groundout of former teammate Yoenis Céspedes in their only meeting. pic.twitter.com/8QOnVcom2i
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 9, 2023
He also dropped this ball in left field, which led to another run for Italy:
Yoenis Céspedes drops this one in left field. pic.twitter.com/vAKAi4Tbo9
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) March 9, 2023
So, yea — the results just haven’t been there yet for Cespy in the WBC.
Meanwhile, Harvey produced three scoreless innings before exiting. He induced six ground-ball outs while surrendering two hits and one walk with no strikeouts. As Metsmerized’s Mike Mayer notes, the right-hander averaged 89 mph on his fastball and topped out at 90.
At the time of this article’s publishing, both squads are locked in a 2-2 tie as they head to the ninth inning after Cuba tied things up in the bottom of the eighth.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.