Matt Harvey starting the all-star game on Tuesday at Citi-Field would be a dream come true for him, the organization, and Mets’ fans. Except, I have a HUGE problem with what the Mets are doing to make sure that happens. I know, I have no idea what the Mets are actually planning doing with his start and I understand a lot of it is hearsay, but from what I am gathering, the Mets have thought of limiting Harvey’s pitch count or skipping him altogether on Saturday in order to put him in position to start the game on Tuesday.
It would be a tremendous honor to watch Matt Harvey start the game along with David Wright. Harvey has been one of the best pitchers in baseball and it just makes sense to start the hometown guy for the game. Bochy, Kershaw, and everybody seems to acknowledge that. I was all for moving Harvey’s start up from Sunday to Saturday, because it was putting him on normal rest and would allow him to pitch on Tuesday. That move actually made sense in all regards, as it would have skipped an underperforming, now unhealthy, Marcum before the break. At this point in the Mets handling of the situation, I’m all in. It is completely logical and doesn’t hurt the baseball team.
Next there are anonymous Mets officials that are saying that the Mets are doing whatever they can to ensure that Matt Harvey starts the game. I don’t know what exactly they are doing, but still I’m okay with that. Doesn’t hurt the ball club at all.
Now, with recent developments that Matt Harvey has a blister on his index finger, reports are saying that Terry Collins may skip his start on Saturday or limit his pitch count to allow him to pitch in the All-Star game. THIS is where I have a problem. I want to see Harvey pitch on Tuesday, I promise I do. But to sacrifice a start or half a start to do that is ridiculous. The Mets are sending a message that the honor of pitching in an All-Star game is more important than giving the Mets the best chance to win. Carlos Torres would be the first candidate to replace Harvey if he is skipped. with all due respect to Torres, who has pitched amazingly since being called up, Matt Harvey is an ace and puts the team in the best position to win a game.
Some may say, the Mets are 9 games under .500 and really have no chance of playing meaningful games in September. So this would be good for the organization and wouldn’t really affect the outcome of the season. That is extremly true, as this one game that Harvey could be skipped will probably mean nothing to the team in the long run as they are 4th place in the NL East. Well that means the Mets value honors and fame more than they do winning, despite their record. If the Mets want to be on the front of the newspapers and all over the media, then the best way to do that is to win. Harvey starting the game would be a great story, but so would Harvey beating the NL best Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.
The blister argument is also interesting. Harvey has developed a blister on his index finger from a couple starts ago and it has affected his pitching a little bit. If that blister means that Harvey can’t start on Saturday, is it wise to throw him out there on Tuesday? Is it beneficial for the Mets to allow him to pitch if he’s not 100%? Harvey has dismissed the injury and said he’s ready to start on Saturday. He also threw 121 pitches on Monday with that blister, so I don’t see why the Mets would skip the start for any other reason than the All-Star game.
All I really am saying is that all of these rumors of the Mets doing what they can to make sure Harvey starts the All-Star game is fine by me until it starts affecting the ability for the Mets to win. By skipping his start or limiting his pitch count, the Mets are telling the fans that they are more worried about this game (basically an exhibition game for the Mets), than they are about giving this team the best opportunity to win. Even if the opportunity to start the All-Star game at Citi Field will never come again for Matt Harvey, is that worth skipping a start? There’s no right answer, but you know mine.