The Mets set the bar low for Matt Harvey’s last start. It’s been set even lower for what could be a water-logged Memorial Day start this afternoon against the Chicago White Sox.
Before the Nationals ripped him last week, manager Terry Collins wanted a “quality’’ outing from his former No. 1 starter. He didn’t get it, Harvey’s ERA zoomed to 6.08 and he left the clubhouse without speaking to reporters.
This time out, “I’m hoping that he relaxes,” said Collins.
If he does, Harvey will have to shift it into a higher mental gear we haven’t seen before.
“I’m hoping that he just goes out and pitches like he knows how – and that is worrying about making pitches, not so much about the mechanics,” Collins said.
Meanwhile, Collins believes Harvey’s problems are a combination mechanical and mental. In addition to working with pitching coach Dan Warthen on his mechanics – from release point to where his lead foot lands – Collins said Harvey is also working with the Mets’ mental skills coach.
Collins wouldn’t specify the next step for Harvey if he gets routed.
“I just think we’ve got to wring the rag dry here,” Collins said. “This is not just a Triple-A guys who’s up for a tryout. This is a guy who pitched in an All-Star Game a couple of years ago and was one of the best in the game. And, I think we need to push a little bit farther.”
Nobody knows what will happen today, but perhaps Harvey will come up with a performance worth talking about.