With Mets expanding lead, resting Harvey much simpler

Posted: September 9, 2015 in News, Opinion

By Steven Inmanima

By now everyone knows the saga with the Matt Harvey innings limit. It looks as if the entire situation weighed on Matt Tuesday in his worst career start against the rival Nationals. It didn’t matter to the Mets as they turned a 7-1 deficit into an 8-7 win to take the first two games of the series against the club trailing them. If the Mets can take Wednesday’s game with Jacob deGrom on the mound then they would have a seven game lead, their largest lead of the season. With that huge lead and just three games left with the Nationals, the Mets can rest Matt Harvey until the playoffs and put all this drama behind them.

At 171.2 innings pitched, Harvey is dangerously close to his 180 cap. If the club can rest him over the next month and somehow enter the 2015 postseason under the 180 mark, than Harvey can make an impact on the Mets first playoff appearance in nine seasons.

Ideally the Mets can continue to expand their lead and then pitch Harvey the final weekend of the year as a “tune up” to get him back in a rhythm for the playoffs. It doesn’t even have to be a full start maybe four or five innings. Harvey would be under 180 IP and it would be on him to decide how deep he wants to go into the playoffs. If Harvey wants to still be considered a superhero he cannot shut himself down in October, especially when the Mets have done everything in their power to keep him healthy.

The further the Mets advance into the playoffs, the harder it would be for Harvey to ditch his teammates and shut himself down. Obviously he cares about his future contract but when Stephen Strasburg (another Boras client) was shut down right before the postseason a few seasons ago, the Nationals got bounced in the first round and Stephen has been known as being “soft”. Probably not a good thing when looking for a nine figure contract.

If the Mets and Harvey can get on the same page than the Amazin’s can go into the playoffs without any distractions and with a pitching staff that can stack up with anyone.

  1. Frank says:

    Awesome post Steve. I am looking forward to the post season!

  2. Mike Young says:

    Steve – While I agree with everything that you have written in this article, my primary concerns are 1) lets win tonight; 2) lets then win enough so that the up coming Yankee series doesn’t or can’t set us back because they are fighting to make the playoffs just like the Mets; and 3) moving forward the way Matt Harvey pitched last night concerns me. I am concerned because last night he was no better than Jon Niese has been in his last few starts. In the playoffs, pitching matters. Right now Jacob de Grom is our ace. Can he, himself a second year player, be counted on to pitch like we expect and want him to in the playoffs? Maybe tonight will help answer that question. Then there is the rest of the rotation. Thor is still an unproven big game rookie pitcher who needs to demonstrate he can command the zone and put away hitters with two strikes and leave RISP stranded while pitting up zeros inning after inning and going deep into games both at home and on the road. Colon is our only proven veteran. I am counting on him big time. Matz is good but also unproven in big games. So, there you have it all that plus can Cespedes keep hitting like he has been? I do have confidence in Robles, Clippard and Familia. Reed needs to throw more strikes. If he can he can be lights out as well.. Thanks, Mike

  3. moformvp says:

    Everything sounds good theoretically, but I doubt that Harvey would be sharp after taking most of September off–even with the 5 inning tune up that you recommended. Case in point: after getting 5 extra days of rest, Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn were both roughed up this week by the Cubs. I’m not sure that taking chunks of time off will be a good option.
    What the Mets could do is cut down on his number of high stress pitches; that is, take Harvey early in games if he gets into any trouble. That way he could get his normal work in without the wear and tear on the arm.

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