Tuesday night's start didn't go as planned for Matt Harvey, getting charged with seven earned runs in five-and-a-third innings of work. He thew 74 pitches, 54 of which were fastballs. It's fair to say that the media circus over the past few days may have gotten to Harvey, and he had trouble focusing.
Manager Terry Collins thinks Harvey was trying to do too much.
"I think he was out there trying to show everybody who he is and I think he overthrew. He missed a lot of spots because he was trying too hard. It's human nature."
Despite that, Harvey told Newsday after the game that he would be ready for his next start, whenever that would be.
"I'm ready whenever they decide. I have a couple mechanical things to work on, but whenever they decide to throw me back out there, I'm going to be ready."
With the Mets opening a six-game lead on the Nationals with 24 games to play, they could try to maneuver their pitching schedule in order to maximize the output Harvey can give them in both the regular season and the postseason. The team picked him up after a bad outing, something that was vastly different from years past. This Mets team is bigger than one player and his innings limit. Last night's comeback was an example of that.
If Harvey is able to pitch in the postseason—and all indications are that he's planning to do just that—that's a huge benefit to the Mets. If he can't, last night's effort by the bullpen and the offense suggests that the rest of the team can bail out their star pitchers in big games, a habit that will prove especially useful down the stretch.