Even though Matt Harvey only threw 70 pitches in his return from a stress reaction in his shoulder on Saturday, it still didn’t seem like a great idea for the Mets to let him pitch on Wednesday against the Phillies. For one, Harvey performed woefully in Houston with seven runs allowed in two innings. There was also the minor detail of Wednesday being four days after Saturday, a fact that would give Harvey just three days of rest in between starts when the Mets are just trying to play the rest of their season without losing any more pitchers to injury.
Pitching Harvey on short rest seemed reckless, but the Mets were about to do it anyway until the weather forecast — and perhaps some common sense as well — altered their plans. Terry Collins told reporters on Tuesday that he was pushing Harvey back to Thursday due to stormy weather in New York on Wednesday night.
Either Tommy Milone or Robert Gsellman will take the hill on Wednesday instead. The Mets came away making a rational decision, but their skeptical fan base is only going to grow more wary due to the way that decision came about. Was the club really about to let a prized asset pitch on short rest in a meaningless September game? Why is it so hard for Collins to say “no” to his top hurlers? Those are just a couple of questions that fans are chewing on right now.
The rotation dilemma started when Hurricane Harvey forced the team to play two games on Saturday, and pitcher Harvey ended up playing in the doubleheader instead of on Friday night as scheduled. With rosters having expanded on September 1, it would seem easy enough for New York to find a one-time substitute and get Harvey back on normal rest, but for a minute, it looked like short rest was the way to go.