NEW YORK -- All it took was a stroll down the street for Matt Harvey to receive his first injection of Subway Series energy, when a fan called out for him to "beat the Yankees."
"That's always fun," Harvey said. "It definitely keeps you going. It keeps the drive strong."
The drive is still plenty strong for Harvey, whose 11th start will come Tuesday against the team he once rooted for. Growing up a Yankees fan in Connecticut, Harvey estimates he made half a dozen trips down to New York City to watch Subway Series games in person -- mostly with his father, and mostly at Shea Stadium, where he admits he preferred the atmosphere.
Harvey's childhood love of the Yankees has been well-documented -- particularly his idolization of outfielder Paul O'Neill, whose fiery on-field demeanor compares favorably to his own. But as a Met, Harvey has long since forgotten that part of his past.
"I'm happy to be in the big leagues, no matter where it is," he said. "I'm happy to be in New York, no matter which team it is. The past is the past, but I'm a New York Mets fan."
To prepare for the Subway Series, Harvey said he planned to sit in the dugout and soak in Monday's atmosphere, before gearing up for Tuesday's assignment. Harvey has admitted in the past to a bit of extra anticipation leading up to premier matchups against Stephen Strasburg and Roy Halladay, and understands that Tuesday's start will be his most significant to date.
"I dreamed of being involved in it," Harvey said. "Now being part of it is definitely a dream come true."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.