Matt Harvey says he will pitch in the postseason for the Mets
In the aftermath of an awkward and cryptic press conference in which Matt Harvey was non-commital in pitching beyond his start against the Nationals on Tuesday, the Mets right-hander has penned a post to the Players Tribune stating he will indeed pitch in the playoffs if the Mets qualify in 2015.
“I understand the risks. I am also fully aware of the opportunity the Mets have this postseason,” Harvey wrote. “Winning the division and getting to the playoffs is our goal.
“Once we are there, I will be there,” Harvey concluded.
Right now, the Mets need to focus on getting there, and they’re going to need their star pitcher in order to do so.
But he could have just said this on Saturday rather than go about answering questions the way he did. He and his agent created an unnecessary story and distraction for the team he says he is working hard in an effort to help get to the playoffs.
But at least he has made a decision, and the right one at that. Call it PR spin, damage control or both, but this is the right call and a start towards repairing some of the damage and alienation from this past weekend.
Now it’s time for him to back it up on the mound. Actions always speak louder than words.
Having said that, Harvey did not say how much he will pitch in the regular season going forward, only to say he is working with the club, his agent and team doctors to come up with a plan to allow him to be available for the playoffs.
But first, the Mets need to get there, and those chances softened this weekend in their series loss to the Marlins and the Nationals four-game sweep of the Braves, during which Washington gained 2 1/2 games on the Mets in the National League East.
The two teams open a three-game series in Washington at 1:10 PM on Monday.
In essence, Harvey will be pitching a playoff-like game on Tuesday, and certainly the biggest game of his life that can go a long way towards fixing the distraction all of this caused the club in a lost weekend in Miami.
“This guy is a young, star player who is all of a sudden hit with something he hasn’t had to deal with before,” manager Terry Collins said before the club’s heartbreaking 4-3 loss to the Marlins on Sunday. “I always feel this: It’s not what you say, it’s what you do. Go pitch good. The rest will take care of itself. The biggest statement he can make is to go pitch his butt off on Tuesday. That’ll speak volumes. That’s pretty much what I’m going to tell him. Maybe not in those nice words.”
Indeed it will, and the Mets need Harvey to be Harvey in the moment, not the Harvey he wants to be three years from now.
After all, that’s what the playoffs are all about anyway.