PITTSBURGH - Matt Harvey missed all of last season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, so it would have been reasonable to expect some rust.

Through eight starts, however, the Mets ace has pitched as if he hadn't missed any time.

"All of the pitches are working," pitching coach Dan Warthen said. "He's using all of his pitches."

Harvey, who will start against the Pirates on Saturday, is 5-1 with a sparkling 1.98 ERA. Had he enjoyed better run support, he would have collected two more wins in his previous two outings, both scoreless efforts. Harvey has not allowed a run in his last 16 innings. Perhaps more encouraging, Warthen said he continues to evolve.

Just in the last month, Warthen said Harvey has embraced pitching to contact, improved his pitch sequences and saved his best fastballs for tight situations.

"The conversation is more like why do you want to use all of that energy when there's nobody on base?" Warthen said. "When you've got a man on third base and you've got an extra gear, use it then."

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Forward progress

David Wright and Travis d'Arnaud took batting practice Friday. Terry Collins remains hopeful that both will be ready to begin a minor-league rehab assignment by next week.

Wright took batting practice for the first time since a back injury hung up his rehab from a strained hamstring. D'Arnaud's BP was his first since he landed on the disabled list with a fractured pinkie in his right hand.

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Extra bases

Righthander Bobby Parnell (Tommy John surgery) walked one and struck out one in a scoreless inning for Class A St. Lucie. He threw 15 pitches . . . Righthander Vic Black (shoulder) will make his next minor-league rehab outing with Double-A Binghamton.