No Matt Harvey? With Logan Verrett, it’s no sweat
For the second time in the last three weeks, the Mets decided to skip ace Matt Harvey’s spot in the rotation in an effort to limit his innings, preserve his stamina, and adhere to the wishes of Harvey’s doctors and agent.
And for the second consecutive skipped start, the Mets opted to use Logan Verrett, who showed the last time his services were required as a starting pitcher he was more than capable of filling Harvey’s shoes – at least for a day – with eight brilliant innings against the Rockies in Denver.
“It felt really good, just getting back out there,” Verrett said. “Being at home, feeling the crowd here, especially being on such a great run. It felt really good. There definitely was a lot of adrenaline.”
Verrett was on a 75-80 pitch limit on Monday night thanks to not pitching for more than two weeks, and he made the most of his opportunity allowing just three hits, a walk and a run in five innings.
“We said if he can get us to the sixth inning, we’ll take it. He got us to the sixth inning,” manager Terry Collins said after the game.
The key for Verrett was his change-up, which he threw for a strike 11 out of 12 times. He was able to spot it down and away from both left-handers and right-handers, and any kind of contact the Marlins made against it was typically with off-balanced swings off the end of the bat.
The result was a lot of weak contact and quick outs, as he used it early in the count consistently in an effort to be as efficient as possible.
He didn’t earn the win on Monday night, but he certainly earned a save, albeit of a different variety than that which typically goes in the box score for Jeurys Familia.
“I’m just going to go out there whenever they tell me to take the hill, get outs and put up zeros,” Verrett said. “Whatever the role is. I’m just going with the flow.”
Verrett has now allowed only two runs in 13 2/3 innings as a starting pitcher for the Mets in 2015.
“I have all the faith in the world that if we need to spot start again, he’s the guy because he throws strikes,” Collins said about Verrett.
And he may be called upon again to start in place of Harvey – or maybe even Jacob deGrom – over the final 18 games of the season.