LOS ANGELES -- Agent Scott Boras took the high road over the innings flap regarding Matt Harvey in comments before Game 1 of the National League Division Series between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I'm just watching everybody play baseball. I'm here for the same thing you are," Boras said from the front row behind home plate at Dodger Stadium on Friday afternoon. "I'm not going to comment on anything about what the club is doing, or what we're doing, other than that Matt's going to pitch."
Boras suggested last month that Harvey's health would be imperiled in his first season back from Tommy John surgery if he exceeded 180 innings, including the postseason. That butted heads with the Mets' plan, and Harvey took a considerable public-relations hit for departing a game against the Yankees after five scoreless innings Sept. 20.
Harvey eased the standoff when he went to manager Terry Collins after that Subway Series outing and suggested the innings cap could be eased. Harvey then proceeded to toss a combined 12⅔ innings in his final two starts of the regular season, to finish with 189⅓ innings.
The Mets still are making some accommodation by planning to use Harvey only once in the division series. But the outing in Game 3 against the Dodgers is slated to be full length -- not abbreviated.
Asked if the Mets are taking an unwise risk with Harvey, Boras said: "I'm not going to comment on it. I just want to focus on the game and let them do what they're going to do. We spoke in September about this, and made sure the doctors were on the phone. But we're in the playoffs, and I think baseball just needs to be played here. We certainly want the players and team to focus on the game. That's what everybody should do."
Asked if it was accurate that it was Harvey's call to loosen the reins in his final two regular-season starts (defying what Boras had advocated), Boras added: "You guys were there. I wasn't. I'm not applying any interpretations to this because of the fact that it's the playoffs, and I think the focus should really be on the game."
Boras went on to compare Harvey's situation with how the Washington Nationals handled Stephen Strasburg in shutting him down and not using him in the 2012 postseason after he returned from Tommy John surgery.
"This is a conundrum that baseball itself has to deal with for a lot of reasons," Boras said. "I don't think it really applies so much to individuals. It's just that it's the sport in general about how we manage it, how we listen to doctors. ... Everybody is trying to do the right thing. I think they are. But when you're faced with that, you try to get information to everybody and, 'Go do what you're going to do.'"
Harvey also created headlines Tuesday when he missed a mandatory team workout at Citi Field.
"I think the perception of every player is that Matt has a great work ethic. Everybody knows that," Boras said. "Everybody knows what his ethic is. And remember this, too: Matt Harvey gave his arm already for the New York Mets. In 2013, he pitched until he didn't have a ligament. He's the kind of guy, he wants his team to do well. He wants them to win. And you've seen what he's done."