“He was disturbed," Collins added. "He understood it, but he was not happy with it. So I was not surprised when he walked in and said, ‘I want to pitch.’ I said, ‘It’s always been your call. You have to make the decisions. It’s your life. It’s your career. You’re going to make the call. If you want to pitch, you’re going to pitch.’”
Harvey told Collins he wanted to pitch deep in to his final two starts of the season, because the short outings were limiting his effectiveness.
“I need to throw 100 pitches in my next two outings,” Harvey essentially said, according to Collins. “We’re going to win this, and I need to be ready for the playoffs, and I’m not ready."
Collins said he had no problem with the request, but that they would first need to get approval from GM Sandy Alderson.
"When he said that that's what he wanted to do," Alderson said, "I was proud of him, actually, because he made his own decision."
This past Saturday against the Reds, Harvey threw 97 pitches through 6 2/3 innings, which raised his season total to 182 innings. Harvey's agent, Scott Boras, told multiple media outlets last month that it was recently recommended to Alderson that his client should not exceed 180 innings in 2015 because it could negatively impact the health of Harvey's surgically-repaired elbow.
Nevertheless, Harvey is now scheduled to pitch against the Nationals this weekend at Citi Field during the final series of the regular season. Also, Collins said Harvey's playoff starts would all be of regular length.
“The other team will determine how long he pitches,” said Collins, who is leaning toward starting Harvey in Game 3 of the NLDS. “For me, it’s the pivotal game of any playoff. That might be the perfect spot. We can watch his workload, yet have him pitch the pivotal game.”
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com
Good for you, Matt. This is all anyone wanted, myself included. No one - not me, not the people reading this, not the GM, not his teammates, and not the manager - were ever going to demand that Harvey potentially ruin his future by pitching as much as possible if that wasn't what he wanted to do. However, I think we all suspected he wanted the work. I wrote it a dozen times, saying, "I believe Harvey wants to pitch." Yet, he was going along with the limited program, because that's what his agent suggested, and because Alderson clearly wasn't going to force this kid to walk off a plank against his will.
So, when Harvey stepped up and said, "I want to pitch," it's no wonder Alderson and Collins - and you and I - were proud of him. It would have been nice to have this happen from the start, but, oh well, life isn't perfect. Thankfully, things worked out, he got some rest, and the Mets ended up winning the NL East anyway. Great, welcome back Matt. Now, let's all move on...
In regards to the rest of this season, my understanding is that Harvey will likely throw around 80 pitches in his final start, but I think that's going to be the case for every starting pitcher on the staff. This is typical of division winners during the past few seasons, as they adjusted workload and readied their roster for the playoffs.
As for the NLDS, my hunch is they'll go Jacob deGrom in Game 1, Noah Syndergaard in Game 2, Harvey in Game 3 and then decide what to do in Game 4 based on the situation. I mean, if the Mets are down 2-1, it wouldn't shock me to see deGrom go in Game 4 on four days rest. Otherwise, if they're up 2-1, it would make more sense to keep everyone on regular rest and go with Steven Matz and/or Bartolo Colon.