Matt Harvey gets the ball tonight as we all knew he would. However, few thought he’d enter the season pitching as poorly as he did this spring. And, while we always knew he had a chip on his shoulder, nobody thought he’d go into the season with a mad-on at the New York media because he didn’t like a few headlines that poked fun at his urinary tract infection caused by holding in his urine.
OK, so Harvey doesn’t want to talk. That’s his choice, but one that will eventually bite him in the butt in the long run because the headline writers, and columnists, and bloggers, and radio talk-show commentators, will always have the last word. Somebody who is supposedly as smart as Harvey should know that by now.
Harvey’s aggravation might be easier to comprehend if he hadn’t pitched so poorly this spring, as evidenced by a 7.50 ERA and 1.83 WHIP.
However, none of that matters now. Neither does Harvey’s anger. Or what the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series. The only thing that matters is this is a new season and the expectations have never been higher of Harvey and the Mets.
If Harvey doesn’t want to speak, so be it. Let him be silent. It’s all right as long as his pitching gives us something to talk about.
ON DECK: Mets’ Opening Day lineup.
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The one pitching Met I was most concerned with appears to have pulled it together, and that’s Steven Matz, who pitched five hitless innings in an 8-1 rout of the Cubs that snapped a 14-game winless streak.
Matz struck out six and walked two, and there were no comments after questioning his stamina or conditioning.
“This is definitely a good way to go into the season,’’ Matz told reporters. “My slider was working and it’s definitely something I’m going to be using. I’m definitely getting to where I need to be.’’
However, “getting to,’’ isn’t exactly “being there,’’ and it should be pointed out starters are expected to work at least six innings and possibly seven in their final tune-up.
Matz threw 73 pitches, which won’t do in his first start. Meanwhile, Jacob deGrom threw 71 pitches in a minor league game in Port St. Lucie.
All Mets starters operated under a reduced workload in spring training. It took awhile for Matz to come around, but Matt Harvey had a miserable spring. Manager Terry Collins said he won’t be concerned until the games count, and that will be Sunday with Harvey.
After the game, the Mets finalized their Opening Day roster with Kevin Plawecki being the last position player and relievers Jim Henderson and Logan Verrett rounding out the staff.
The Mets received good news this morning regarding Matt Harvey, who was cleared to pitch Opening Day, Sunday, in Kansas City, Harvey developed a urinary tract infection creating a blood clot in his bladder, which he passed Monday night.
HARVEY: Still on for Sunday. (AP)
“It started with a bladder infection and it created a blood clot in the bladder,” Harvey told reporters Tuesday morning. “I passed it yesterday. It wasn’t a great first day [after] my 27th birthday. But we cleared that. And then we had a little procedure done this morning just to go in and check the bladder and everything was clear.”
He was supposed to pitch Tuesday, but instead will pitch several innings Wednesday.
Harvey said the problem was created when he held his urine.
“I didn’t really know what was going on,” Harvey said. “I was having trouble using the restroom. Anytime there’s discoloration in your urine, it’s not a great feeling. So I didn’t know what was going on with my stomach. We had some tests yesterday and everything is fine now. … I guess the main issue is I hold my urine in for too long instead of peeing regularly. I guess I have to retrain my bladder to use the restroom a little bit more instead of holding it in. I guess that’s what caused the bladder infection.”
The Mets shutting down Matt Harvey for the remainder of spring training with an undisclosed medical ailment reminds us of the fragility of an athlete. The Mets aren’t being specific as to the nature of the problem, but are saying it isn’t his elbow or shoulder. Agent Scott Boras hasn’t commented. Opening Day is up in the air. And, Harvey could return to New York for tests.
I would definitely say there’s reason to be concerned.
HARVEY: Opening Day in limbo. (Getty)
Harvey was scheduled to pitch Tuesday, but that’s not happening. Nobody knows for sure when Harvey will pitch again.
“It’s a non-baseball medical issue that we have to address,” Alderson told reporters. “It came up this morning as far as I know. There will be some follow-up tests and consultation that will take place over the next couple of days.”
Alderson said Harvey will undergo tests and the results might not be known for several days. That will only lead to speculation.
“I think it’s a little early to attach any level of concern,” Alderson said. “I think we need to wait for more medical information before we decide it’s of concern, or great concern, or no concern. It’s way too premature for us to be discussing anything related to Opening Day.
“I understand Opening Day is not too far away, but we’re dealing with tomorrow, and we should know something more tomorrow – or the next day. But right now he’s not pitching tomorrow. That’s kind of where the story ends.”
Only it won’t be ending as the questions are only beginning, with not the least of them being: “If you’re a Mets’ fan should you be concerned?”
I would think, yes.
The Mets have shut down Matt Harvey for the remainder of spring training for undisclosed medical reasons. GM Sandy Alderson said Harvey might have to go to New York for exams. Alderson would not specify and said his Opening Day start scheduled for Sunday in Kansas City has not yet been ruled out.