Matt Harvey's limit of 180 innings this season has become a massive story line in the Mets' surprising 2015 season. The Mets are trying to come up with a plan to have Harvey pitch in September, while also setting up for the postseason, and they may have found one that works, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The plan is for Harvey to make his scheduled start Tuesday against the Nationals, and then to make one more start in the regular season. That would put Harvey right at, or just a bit over, the 180 number. A third start could be added if the last series with Washington is meaningful.
What is the most interesting part of this plan, is what Harvey is scheduled to do in the post season.
And if the Mets make the playoffs, he won’t start more than once during any potential playoff series and perhaps could be limited to no more than 60 pitches in a start.
A 60-pitch cap, at an average of 15 pitches per inning, would allow Harvey to throw four innings per round in the playoffs. Even though it is Harvey, one could question if that is even worth putting him on the playoff roster.
Two more starts from Harvey may not be enough to hold onto a five game lead, despite having Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard to shoulder important innings.
Since the Nightengale report last night, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has denied that there is any postseason restriction in place, saying that a plan for that has yet to be determined.
Sandy Alderson in reaction to report: "Any plans we have for the rest of the regular season are tentative."— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) September 8, 2015
Sandy Alderson in reaction to report: "We have not spent any time yet on a 'playoff' plan. Nothing has been discussed in that regard."— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) September 8, 2015
For Mets fans, this feels like another bad memory or moment in history similar to Duaner Sanchez meeting his cousin for Dominican food in the early hours on July 31st, 2006. Sanchez and his cousin were sideswiped in their cab by a drunk driver, ending Sanchez's season. Or Francisco Rodriguez punching his girlfriend's father following a game.
This year it's Harvey's innings limit and if that is to cost them a shot at the postseason for the first time since 2007, it may end up being worse than that collapse. Harvey would be at the center of it all, going from fan favorite to hated villain in Gotham.