Second guessing Terry Collins’ decision not to remove Matt Harvey in 8th inning after 102 stress filled pitches does not do justice to a man who is a baseball “lifer” and who also has the credentials to be seriously considered for Manager of the Year in the National League.
Here’s the thing – in the press conference immediately following the loss to the Royals, he “manned up” taking ownership of his decision saying that he was thinking with his heart and not his head. Both he and pitching coach Dan Warthen had a plan coming into the game. It called for Harvey to go seven (if he could) and then for Familia to finish the game out.
A good, sound plan. Harvey did his part. And then came the “meeting” in the dugout in the eighth inning between Collins, Warthen, and Harvey. My brother Bob offered this question…..is this like Grady Little leaving Pedro Martinez in in the same eighth inning in the 2003 AL Championship Series? Good question.
We all know how it played out. Except for one thing that I believe……..the mistake that Collins made was not leaving Harvey in to go to the mound in the eighth (because he had earned it)……..his mistake was in not taking him out after he walked the first batter in the inning. He could then have been able to say….”Hey, I gave him the ball, but enough is enough and I need to take him out”.
In the end, the discussion is moot. The Royals were the better team this year. From February on, they had a point to prove after last year’s loss to the Giants. They gelled together as a team, added significant pieces along the way (Zobrist, Cueto), and marched to the finish line. The intruiging story for next year is this….will the Mets do the same thing…….