When struggling Matt Harvey gave up nine runs and didn’t make it past the third inning of the New York Mets’ 9-1 loss to the Washington Nationals on Thursday, the shortest start of his career, manager Terry Collins said he would consider skipping the would-be ace’s next start.
But after a meeting with the coaching staff, Collins said the Mets will give Harvey another chance to face the Nationals when they head to Washington for a three-game series.
"Matt is going to do some throwing here this weekend and he’s going to start his next time out," Collins said via NJ.com. "He wants to battle through it, which if you know him, his personality is that type where he’s going to do what he has to do to get better."
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When the 27-year-old will get that opportunity, however, is still up in the air. While Harvey is slated to start on Tuesday, Collins said that could be pushed back … or forward, considering Harvey threw only 61 pitches on Thursday.
Either way, "We really think he has to get back up on the horse," Collins said.
Matt Harvey stares at the ball as Terry Collins comes out to relieve him.
Collins acknowledged it was not a unanimous decision. Others in the room thought Harvey should be skipped, the manager said.
The 2013 All-Star is 3-6 with a 5.77 ERA in nine starts, after throwing a career-high 216 innings last year. He was 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA in his first regular season after missing 2014 following Tommy John surgery.
The Mets GM said Harvey is battling through a crisis of confidence.
"This game is about confidence," Collins said via NJ.com. "When it starts to waver, and you start to doubt yourself, you’re going to have a tough time … You have got to learn how to fail in our game. You have got to learn how to fail to get through it. Sometimes it happens at the major league level. You don’t want it to, but it does."
In the meantime, Harvey will throw on the side this weekend and work with pitching coach Dan Warthen in search of an answer to his puzzling difficulties. Harvey’s velocity is down, his pitches lack a sharp finish to them, and he’s said he hasn’t felt comfortable on the mound and has no idea what’s wrong.