Matt Harvey is going to do ‘what’s right’ for Ruben Tejada on Monday
On Monday night, Matt Harvey will start for the Mets in a pivotal game three in their best-of-five Division Series against the Dodgers.
But aside from the importance of the game, Harvey will be at the center of attention in a game which is widely expected to feature fireworks after the collision between Ruben Tejada and Chase Utley on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Most are anticipating Harvey to retaliate against Utley and the Dodgers in some capacity, but the first order of business will be for him to win the game.
“The most important thing is going out and doing my job and doing what’s best for the team,” Harvey explained. “As far as sticking up for your teammates, I think being out there and doing what’s right is exactly what I’m going to do.”
What he interprets as, “what’s right” remains to be seen, but Harvey has thrown at Utley in retaliation for his behavior while with the Phillies.
Harvey insists that situation is resolved.
“I think that’s a completely different situation that occurred, and that was all resolved,” he explained.
Harvey is well aware of Utley’s history, specifically with Tejada in a similar play from 2010.
“History has kind of shown that he’s kind of been in situations like that before,” the right-hander explained. “I know personally, after watching in 2010 and hearing about it with Ruben as well, there’s some situations that needs to be taken care of.
“I think the League is going to do their best to do that and take charge,” he said.
The question is, will Harvey take matters into his own hands? If so, how? That will be determined Monday night in front of a raucous crowd in Flushing.
“After obviously the replay, everybody saw that it was more of a tackle than anything,” he said. “We’re all feeling for Ruben. We’re going to pick him up.”
However Harvey chooses to handle the club’s retaliation, he is still looking forward to pitching in his first playoff game in New York and in front of the hometown fans.
“iI’s exciting,” he explained. “Obviously finding out I was going to pitch Game 3, you know it’s either going to be 2-0, 1-1 or we’re going to be down two games and need a win.
“So regardless of how things shaped up, I think we’re all excited to be back at home.”
Harvey isn’t concerned about any warnings the umpiring crew issues before Monday’s game, although he doesn’t intend to abandon his game plan, even if that means throwing inside to the Los Angeles hitters.
“‘I’m not going to give up my game plan, my approach for something like that,” he said. “It’s unfair. If certain situations come up where I need to throw that pitch, I’m definitely not going to be afraid to go inside.”
Harvey said if this series gets to five games, he’s hopeful he can be available to pitch in relief if needed.
“I’d love to,” he said smiling, “After tomorrow I’m going to do everything I can to get my body and arm back as soon as possible. Obviously I can’t throw a uniform on and run to the bullpen and say, ‘I want to throw in the seventh inning,’ but I’ll definitely speak my mind and let them know how I feel going into that game.
“My whole idea about being here is wanting to play in every game and be out there as much as I can, so if that means a little extra running, a little extra massage, then I’m going to do everything I can to help this team,” he explained.