Terry Collins feels he was in a ‘no-win situation’ with Matt Harvey in the 9th inning of Game 5
Terry Collins’ decision to allow Matt Harvey to pitch the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series continues to be both a topic of discussion and debate.
Harvey lobbied to stay in the game after he had completed eight brilliant innings. He was seen in the dugout saying, “no way,” in an effort to force Collins to keep him in the game after he had already decided to lift him for Jeurys Familia, who was warm in the bullpen and ready to pitch in a save situation.
The fans were chanting, “WE WANT HAR-VEY!” as well. Collins eventually relented and allowed his star right-hander to stay in the game and attempt a complete-game shutout to force a Game 6 in Kansas City.
But the decision backfired immediately. Harvey issued a leadoff walk to Lorenzo Cain and an opposite-field double to Eric Hosmer. At that point, Collins removed Harvey.
But the Royals had already begun to cut into the Mets in what ultimately was a fatal blow.
He entered the ninth inning having thrown 102 pitches. In his career, the opposite has hit .373/.440/.448 against Harvey after he has thrown 101 pitches.
On Wednesday, Terry Collins was asked again about the decision to leave Harvey in the game even though he reversed his decision to put Familia into the game for a save situation.
“To be honest, it was a no-win situation,” the Mets manager explained. “If I bring in Familia and he gives up two, ‘You’re an idiot – you should have left Matt in.’ If Matt gives up the runs, ‘You should have brought Familia in.’ It was a no-win situation.
“I’ve come to understand that,” Collins continued. “That’s why I said: ‘You know what? We made a decision. It didn’t work. Let’s get ready for next year.’ Because, as I’ve said to our fan base for a long time, there’s a big light at the end of the tunnel. And that light is now shining bright.”
Asked what he might have done differently, Collins said, “I would’ve put Familia in.”
There’s nobody in the world who thought Collins made the wrong decision at the time. Of course, it’s easy to second guess the situation since Harvey couldn’t get the job done, and logically, there’s no question it was Familia’s spot considering Harvey had entered the ninth having thrown so many pitches already.
And as Collins said, it might not have mattered. In fairness, if Lucas Duda makes a good throw to the plate on Hosmer, the game ends and Collins doesn’t get burned for a decision purely made with his heart.