Here’s tonight’s Mets’ lineup against the Dodgers in Game 3.
Curtis Granderson – RF
David Wright – 3B
Daniel Murphy – 2B
Yoenis Cespedes – LF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Travis d’Arnaud – C
Wilmer Flores – SS
Juan Lagares – CF
Matt Harvey – RHP
Mets Game 3 starter Matt Harvey missed a mandatory team workout today. He will be disciplined in-house, which would entail a fine.
“One thing about having rich players: There’s a nice donation they’ll be making,’’ manager Terry Collins told reporters this afternoon at Citi Field.
Harvey said he lost track of time, but phoned the Mets to tell them he was caught in traffic. Because of the conflicts Harvey has had with the Mets over his innings, it is easy to imagine the worst, but who among us hasn’t been caught in traffic?
Then again, there’s the old saying, “if you’re early you are never late.’’
Collins told Harvey to turn around and go home, but to his credit, Harvey showed up at Citi Field to work out, face the questions and not have his teammates bothered by the distraction.
That really is a plus on his behalf.
“Obviously today was not the greatest,’’ Harvey told reporters. “I know we had a mandatory workout. The last thing I ever want to do is not be here with my team. Basically there’s no excuse. I screwed up. I wasn’t here.
“I showed up a little late. I’ve talked to [general manager] Sandy [Alderson] and I’ve talked to Terry and my teammates and apologized to them and apologized to everybody. They understand. I’m here to get my workout in and be with the team.
“Unfortunately, today I screwed up. There’s not really anything else to say. They know what happened. I told everybody and apologized to everybody and told them it’s not going to happen again. It’s never happened before. Unfortunately, it happened kind of at a bad time, a mandatory time. Truly I just screwed up.’’
That’s as stand-up as a player can be. He didn’t blame Alred for not setting the alarm or Robin for warming up the Batmobile for him. He accepted responsibility and that’s all you can ask.
MATZ WORKS OUT: Rookie lefthander Steven Matz, earmarked to start Game 4 over Bartolo Colon despite only six career starts, threw a pain-free bullpen session. He will make a simulated game Thursday, and if there are no setbacks will start Game 4.
Matz, who has been sidelined with back spasms, is expected to throw 90 to 95 pitches in the game.
If Matz can’t go, the Mets are inexplicably considering using Jacob deGrom on short rest.
URIBE TO MISS NLDS: Infielder Juan Uribe, who hasn’t played since Sept. 25 because of a bruised cartilage in his test, will be left off the NLDS roster. Expect his sport on the roster to be taken by outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
THIS IN FROM THE METS:
The New York Mets have announced that tonight’s game against the Washington Nationals has been rescheduled as the first game of a separate admission doubleheader tomorrow, Saturday, October 3.
Tonight’s rescheduled game will begin at 1:10 p.m. with gates opening at 11:10 a.m., followed by Saturday’s regularly scheduled game at 7:10 p.m. Fans attending the first game will be required to exit the ballpark following the final out of the game.
· Only tickets marked “Friday, October 2, 2015 – Game 79” are valid for admission to Saturday afternoon’s game beginning at 1:10 p.m.
· Tickets marked “Saturday, October 3, 2015 – Game 80” will remain valid for the originally scheduled 7:10 p.m. night game.
Free Shirt Friday t-shirts presented by AvoDerm and Nylabone will be given out to all fans in attendance at the 1:10 p.m. afternoon game, and the Mets Fleece blanket courtesy of The Northwest Company will be given to the first 15,000 fans at the regularly scheduled 7:10 p.m. game.
The Mets will allow fans holding a paid ticket for tonight’s game marked “Friday, October 2, 2015 – Game 79”, who do not use their ticket for admission to Saturday afternoon’s game to redeem their unused ticket for a complimentary ticket to any April 2016 home game (excluding Opening Day, April 8), subject to availability. Unused tickets marked “Friday, October 2, 2015 – Game 79” can be submitted for redemption by mail or in person at the Citi Field Box Office. Redemption orders will be processed in the off-season after individual tickets go on sale to the general public.
Complimentary tickets to tonight’s game and those marked “NO RAINCHECK” have no value and do not constitute a rain check, but are valid for admission for the game beginning tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 p.m.
The Citi Field Ticket Windows will open at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.
All indications point to Matt Harvey starting Game 3 in the NLDS, most likely against the Dodgers, following Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. It’s between Steven Matz and Bartolo Colon for Game 4. Matz’s start against the Phillies was pushed back to Thursday because of back stiffness, while Colon had a rough first inning tonight.
Although Harvey lobbied for, and was allowed to pitch into the seventh Saturday against Cincinnati, the Mets aren’t about to give him extra starts, which is why GM Sandy Alderson said he’ll only get one start in the NLDS.
Alderson called Game 3 a pivotal start, which is why he likes Harvey in that game.
“Game 3 is an important game,” Alderson said. “It doesn’t matter whether up 2-0 or down 0-2 or 1-1, it’s a big game.”
Harvey is scheduled to start Saturday against Washington and will get about 70 pitches. He’ll have a considerably longer leash in the playoffs.
“When he goes out and pitches, the reins will be off,” Collins said.
Which is what Harvey wanted all along.
The cynic in me thinks Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon set off Bryce Harper by saying, “you can find your ring in New York.” Maybe he’ll find it this weekend in Citi Field where the Nationals finish playing out the string against the Mets.
With the NL East in their back pocket, the Mets insist they still have something to play off, namely, home field advantage against the Dodgers in the NLDS.
Manager Terry Collins said the Mets won’?t coast the final week.
“I think you’ve got to get the edge back that we had,” Collins said. “We’re going to play to win as many games as we can, to try to get home-field advantage in the first round.
“I think it’?s very, very important to have that. It’?s something we should shoot for. And I think when you’?re still playing for something, it prepares you better.”?
Winning on the road had been difficult for the Mets in recent seasons, including earlier this year. However, the Mets have gone 20-3 since splitting a two-game series in Baltimore, Aug. 18-19. That stretch includes a three-game sweep in Washington, and four-game sweep over the weekend in Cincinnati. Where the Mets have had problems was at home where they are 6-12, since Aug. 14, when the lost the first game of a three-game sweep to potential playoff opponent, Pittsburgh.
Even so, it’s always better to play at home. It’?s Game 5 against Clayton Kershaw. Where do you want that game played?
Home field is only one of several issues Collins wants to settle this week:
ROTATION: As of now, the order appears to be Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey in the pivotal Game 3, and Steven Matz. This decision also involves how many innings Harvey would pitch. Presumably, after Saturday, that’s no longer an issue.
BULLPEN: Jon Niese volunteered to be a left-handed specialist, but that doesn’?t resolve all the bullpen issues, including whether he can do the job. The list includes Tyler Clippard‘s back; Bartolo Colon‘s role; the effectiveness of Sean Gilmartin; and the bridge to Jeurys Familia.
THE OFFENSE: After fluttering for much of the first half, the Mets received an offensive jolt with the acquisitions of Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe, and the promotion of Michael Conforto. While much of the firepower was against sub-.500 teams, the Dodgers have two of the game’s best pitchers in Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
It won’t be as easy.