Before Sunday's 11-2 loss to the Yankees, Terry Collins told reporters that Matt Harvey would be on an innings limit against the Mets' crosstown rivals. And so, even though the fireballer had thrown only 77 pitches through five shutout innings, Collins pulled his ace, who had limited the Yankees to one run and one hit while striking out seven.
Mets fans then watched a parade of relievers turn a 1-0 lead into an 11-1 deficit in three innings, while Harvey—who, had he had a clean sixth inning, could have set up the Addison Reed-Tyler Clippard-Jeurys Familia bridge to close out the game—watched.
This has to be hard for Terry Collins to watch, knowing how the pitcher he had to take out of the game after five innings was dominating.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) September 21, 2015
Collins told reporters after the loss that he couldn't say how much Harvey was involved with setting his innings-limit plan for the rest of the season, but when they went over it, "he just nodded his head that he gets it."
After the game, Harvey was asked by reporters what say he had in his innings limit from here on out. He sidestepped the question, NJ.com's Mike Vorkunov reported, telling reporters instead, "The last thing I want to do is not play and not pitch. Especially if we get into the postseason."
Who's in charge of Matt Harvey's pitching plan is something we may never know. But the potential lead actors in this saga are Harvey himself, whose role is not known; Dr. James Andrews, who performed the Tommy John surgery on Harvey and is staying out of the drama; Mets general manager Sandy Alderson; and Scott Boras, Harvey's agent, who started the whole thing early this month.
The one person we know isn't in the driver's seat is Terry Collins, who said that he didn't agree with the decision, but has to adjust to it if he wants to be managing.
"I don’t give a shit who is sitting in this chair, Matt Harvey should be a guy you turn to," he said.