COMMENTS: The place should be rocking tonight like never before. … I like Cespedes hitting third. … Good to see they haven’t forgotten Lagares. Cespedes is the new toy, but the Mets might not have him next season. Best to keep Lagares happy and interested. … No question, Wright gets the biggest cheer. … It will be interesting to see how Harvey responds on 11 days rest.
Well, the Mets gave Matt Harvey his rest, 12 days to be exact, and it will be interesting to see how he responds tonight against Boston. Harvey missing a start was a two-part gamble. First, there was skipping him in favor of Logan Verrett. The second part is seeing how he would do on extended rest.
Harvey has been vocal about his preference working in a conventional five-man rotation where he works on four days rest. He was especially agitated when he lost to the Dodgers in Los Angeles, July 4, while working on eight days rest. On July 20, on nine days rest, he lost in Washington.
Harvey is 1-1 on seven days rest; 6-3 on six days rest; and 3-1 on five days rest. That’s seven losses for Harvey when not working on conventional rest.
When pitchers get too much rest they have a tendency to be overly strong and often overthrow and have a lack of command. You hear it all the time with sinkerball pitchers that they leave the ball up when too strong and need to be a little tired.
As bad as the Red Sox are, they can still hit and the Mets don’t need is for Harvey to be walking hitters in front of guys like David Ortiz.
Harvey has thrown 154 innings this season and including tonight is on schedule to make eight more starts on conventional rest. Assuming he goes seven innings in those games, that’s 56 more or 210 for the season. Using those numbers and how many innings they wanted for him, that leaves zero for the playoffs.
That obviously won’t work.
The Mets’ options are to skip him one or two more times; or severely limit his innings in September. But, with the Mets’ porous bullpen and need to win games – including six more with the Nationals – that’s not a good choice, either.
As the Mets calculate his potential innings for the playoffs, they must figure them through the World Series. They certainly aren’t going to calculate his playoff starts for just the first round. In doing that, the Mets must figure at least six more starts, which is two starts for every playoff round. Of course, they could figure sweeping each round, but this run already has a large dose of fantasy.
The Mets have done a decent job giving Harvey his rest, but not so much limiting his innings. Have I mentioned this before? It goes to not having a concrete program.
On this date in 1984, 19-year-old Dwight Gooden made his major league debut and earned a 3-2 victory over Houston. Gooden gave up a run on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. It was his first of 17 victories that year in giving Mets’ fans a glimpse of things to come.
In 31 starts that year, he went 17-9 with a 2.60 ERA and threw 218 innings with a league-leading 276 strikeouts and 1.073 WHIP.
Gooden exploded into greatness the following season when he went 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA in amassing 276.2 innings over 35 starts, of which 16 were complete games that included eight shutouts.
For the second straight season he lead the league in strikeouts with 268 strikeouts. He would never win 20 games again or lead the league in strikeouts.
Gooden went 17-6 in 1986, the year the Mets beat Boston in the World Series, but there were also signs of upcoming trouble. He didn’t make it past the fifth inning in either of his two starts against the Red Sox in the World Series, and then was a no-show for the victory parade.
Gooden was later arrested in December of that year in Tampa, Fla., for fighting with police. Soon after, reports surfaced of substance abuse and he tested positive for cocaine during spring training. Gooden entered a rehab center, April 1, and did not make his first start until June 5, and won 15 games that season.
Gooden had several more good seasons for the Mets, but never regained his dominance.
After two positive tests for cocaine, Gooden was suspended for the 1995 season.
Gooden’s 11-year Mets’ career ended with him going 157-85. He signed with the Yankees and threw a no-hitter in 1996. He also played for Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Houston and retired after the 2000 season.
On the worst day of the spring for the Mets, Matt Harvey provided the lone bright spot with four scoreless innings in Monday’s 4-3 loss to Boston.
Harvey threw consistently around 95 mph., and said he felt good with no discomfort.
“It’s a tough day for all of us,’’ Harvey told reporters. “The big thing was getting my work done and really focusing on that. If you want to call it picking the team up, I did my best to do that.
“I felt great to the last pitch. So we’re moving in a good direction.’’
Well, at least Harvey is.
ON DECK: Mets Matters: Today’s game and notes.
What had long been speculated about the Mets unfortunately reached fruition today with the news Zack Wheeler’s year would end because of season-ending Tommy John surgery and would be replaced in the rotation by Dillon Gee.
“That’s why we have him,’’ manager Terry Collins told reporters after Monday’s 4-3 loss to Boston. “He’ll be the guy.’’
Gee is 40-34 with a 3.91 ERA in 103 career starts, but had been relegated to the bullpen after the Mets failed to trade him this winter.
If either opened the season in the major leagues and never went back to the minors they would become free agency after the 2020 season. If they were brought up after the 21st day of the season, that would delay free agency until after the 2021 season.
However, if they waited to promote either until summer, that delays the arbitration process by a year, which would mean untold savings.
ON DECK: Matt Harvey brings bright spot to dismal day.