The Mets Faced Elimination on Sunday night, trailing the Royals 3 games to 1. Matt Harvey started on the mound for the Mets, and delivered 8 fantastic innings, giving his team to a 2-0 lead heading into the final inning. That’s when things went haywire.
Mets manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen appeared to decide to pull Harvey before the start of the 9th in favor of closer Jeurys Familia. When Warthen told Harvey the news, Harvey refused to comply. “No way,” Harvey appeared to tell Warthen repeated, before hunting down Collins and telling him the same thing. Incredibly, Harvey’s arguing appears to have worked. Collins sent him back out to the mound to start the ninth.
I might watch this on repeat a thousand times pic.twitter.com/YbGrIQrdsa
— Mike (@TheMikeDonnelly) November 2, 2015
It’s quite understandable that a player would be thinking about the situation in an emotional way. Who wouldn’t be charged up after throwing eight scoreless World Series innings? The opportunity to pitch a complete game shutout in the World Series doesn’t come along too often. It’s not hard to see why Harvey would want to stay in the game.
What is hard to understand is how Collins allowed himself to be overruled by his own player. If Collins had decided from the get-go to leave Harvey in for the ninth inning, it would have been a perfectly reasonable decision that few would have questioned him for. However, the fact that Collins and Warthen had assessed the situation and decided that the best thing to do was remove Harvey makes his decision questionable. A manager should never make what he knows deep down to be the wrong decision just because of his player’s complaining.
By now you know how this story ends. Harvey walked the first batter of the ninth inning, who proceeded to steal second. The next batter ripped a double that brought in one run. Harvey was pulled after that, but the damage had already been done. Though Mets closer Familia didn’t give up a hit, the Royals used some crafty base running to tie the game and send it into extra innings. After a few scoreless innings, the Royals exploded in the 12th for five runs and went on to win 7-2.
Collins’ decision to allow Harvey to start the ninth inning is one that will be lamented for years in New York. He knew what the right decision was, and allowed himself to be talked out of it. It would be hard to guess who is feeling worse right about now; Terry Collins or Matt Harvey.