The Mets were leading the New York Yankees 1-0 after five innings Sunday night, and Harvey had given up just one hit. But the team is trying to restrict Harvey’s innings down the stretch in his first season coming off Tommy John surgery.
The Yankees went on to score 11 runs off the Mets’ bullpen, winning the game 11-2.
“This is a different era at a different age,” Collins said. “There have been things that you do that you don’t necessarily think that -- there might be a better way that in the past it’s been done, [but] it doesn’t happen today. Things change, and you have to change with ‘em.
“So taking Matt out after five innings last night, was I disturbed? You’re damn right I was disturbed. But that’s what it is. And so I did it. For the good of Matt, hopefully, and for the good of the organization and the future -- that there’s not an injury, that he is OK, and that he’s gonna come back. If it keeps us from winning the pennant, I’m not gonna be very happy about it. But it is what it is, and you have to adapt to it.”
Harvey has pitched 176 2/3 innings this season and his agent, Scott Boras, has said doctors don’t want him to surpass 180. But Harvey himself has said he would be available for the playoffs.
The Mets’ plan was for Harvey to make three abbreviated starts to wrap up the regular season, starting with the game against the Yankees.
“All the talk and everything else isn’t gonna change the fact, that’s what we had to do,” Collins said. “We decided to do it, we stayed on course, and you know what, nobody on either side’s happy about it. Matt’s not happy about it, and we’re not happy about it. But that’s what it is. So we move on, and we play today. New game.”
Harvey’s next start will come in Cincinnati later this week, Collins confirmed. The Mets did skip Harvey’s turn in the rotation once in August, and once earlier this month, but Collins thinks it’s better to have Harvey pitch regularly at this point, even if his starts are shortened.
“For me, the only way to stay consistent is get him out there,” Collins said. “I like to play golf -- the more I play, the better I play. If I play every 15 days, I’m not worth a damn. So I’m gonna try to keep him out there and keep him consistent.”