Matt Harvey now demanding ball, changes pitching plan
Matt Harvey threw 6.2 innings and 97 pitches on Saturday to give his New York Mets their best chance of clinching the NL East for the first time since 2006, and it’s all part of a new pitching plan brought on by the ace himself.
Harvey, apparently feeling badly about the way the entire innings limit controversy unfolded, took it upon himself to tell manager Terry Collins last week that he wants the ball more than the team and his agent had planned.
“When he came to me last week he said, ‘I want to pitch. I want to stay out there. I want to throw 100 pitches and I want to do it twice (before the end of the season),'” Collins said via the New York Daily News. “He said, ‘We’re going to win this thing and I’m going to pitch in the playoffs, and I’ve got to be ready. And I’m not ready.’ ”
Collins said Harvey’s teammates were turned off by the way the pitcher handled his innings limit matter. The ace coming to his manager and demanding the ball was an effort to fix all that.
“He got caught in the middle of this thing, and I’ve said all along that he’s a good teammate, but some guys in that clubhouse got turned off by it. And I can understand that,” said Collins.
“So I think what he did [Saturday] was his way of saying to them, ‘Hey look, what happened happened. I can’t change that but I’m still the guy that wants the baseball.’ And these guys believe him.”
Seemingly out of nowhere, Harvey’s agent Scott Boras dropped a bomb on MLB by telling a reporter that the Mets were not following a strict plan for Harvey, who is in his first season since undergoing Tommy John surgery. Boras painted the Mets as the bad guys, while the team said they were monitoring the pitcher carefully.
As Harvey approached the 180 innings limit, the sides tried to improvise and decided the pitcher would throw shorter half-outings. That plan didn’t work out too well; though Harvey held the Yankees scoreless on one hit in his previous start, he was pulled after five innings with a 1-0 lead, and the Yanks ended up winning 11-2. Apparently frustrated by what unfolded, Harvey vowed to do things differently in the future. That’s why he pitched a full outing on Saturday, and why he plans to pitch another full one going into the playoffs.
“For all the things that people have said, the last thing I ever want to do is put the ball down, and we’re on our way to October. I’m going to be there. I’m going to be fighting every time I get the ball,” Harvey said via the Daily News.
It’s been a long, bumpy ride in New York, but the good news is Harvey appears to have come to his senses and taken control of the matter.
New York, your Dark Knight is rising once again.