By: Paul DiSclafani
I understand the reason to skip Matt Harvey today. I even agreed with it (to a point) on Friday. But things have changed since then.
You’ve just gone through two very difficult games, even though you ended up with identical 14-9 wins. Giving up 18 runs in two games (regardless of the result) is going to put the heat on your bullpen. A bullpen that has given up runs in seven straight games.
On Saturday, the Mets bullpen needed to clean up Jonathan Niese’s mess after he was unable to stretch the game into the late innings with a 14-3 lead. Four relievers combined for the final 11 outs. In a 14-3 game!
On Friday, it was even worse. With a 7-1 lead after two at bats, starter Bartolo Colon began to implode (maybe it was a wrist injury, the Mets aren’t saying) and he only got 14 outs (3.2 innings). The bullpen had to chip in 5 and a third to right the ship and hold serve.
Over just the last two days, you needed nine innings from your bullpen. Wouldn’t this be a good place to get 8 innings from your starter?
Not only is the bullpen taxed, but you are traveling right after the game this afternoon back into the Eastern time zone and starting a four game series the next day (on the road) that begins a stretch of 10 straight games before you get a day off.
When asked about giving Logan Verrett his first even major league start today in place of Harvey, Terry Collins said, “I hope we can get 5 or 6 innings out of him”. You think that he would have said that if Harvey were starting?
This is the type of game you need your Ace to be starting for you. And if Harvey did start and just didn’t have it in this God-awful atmosphere, have Verrett ready to go and yank Harvey to save some innings.
There are only 40 games left and there is no such thing as “playing with house money”. Nobody ever wins “playing with house money”. You get careless and you get over confident.
You have to put the hammer down now.