NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey tossed six scoreless innings Friday. But the ace lacked sharpness in his first game in 11 days, Harvey and manager Terry Collins agreed after the New York Mets' 6-4, 10-inning loss to the Boston Red Sox.
The Mets had skipped Harvey on Sunday to conserve innings in his first season back from Tommy John surgery.
Harvey was pulled after six against the Red Sox because his pitch count had reached 103. He allowed two hits and one walk while striking out eight.
"He was rusty. You could see that in the beginning," Collins said. "That's why his pitch count got up to what it was. He wanted to throw another inning. And I just said, 'We can't do it. That's why we gave you the time off. We aren't here to tax you. We're here to make sure you can get through the month and play into the postseason.' He said, 'Yeah, I know.' That's his mentality and I certainly understand it. We just couldn't run him back out there."
Logan Verrett, who replaced Harvey for the seventh inning, surrendered three runs that frame as Boston took a 3-2 lead.
"Although I wanted to stay out there, it was ultimately his call," Harvey said about his manager. "Hopefully those innings saved can keep us playing into October."
Said Collins: "In postseason it's a different story."
Collins added that it's likely the Mets will not need to skip Harvey another start down the stretch. The Mets do plan to skip Noah Syndergaard once.
"We do not plan on having to skip him again," Collins said of Harvey. "We don't want to. But you can't say we're not going to."
On his lack of sharpness because of the layoff, Harvey added: "I definitely felt refreshed. It's one of those things where you have some time off and you feel really good, and just finding a rhythm was a little tough. I wasn't as fine as I'd like to be. But it felt like when I needed to make a pitch, I was able to do that."