WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Mets haven’t abandoned the notion of using right-hander Matt Harvey during a late-season push for the playoffs.

After Tuesday night’s win over the Nationals, Harvey has pitched 171 2/3 innings this season. The 26-year-old is coming off elbow ligament replacement surgery, and there is some question how he will be used — if at all — after Tuesday’s outing.

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Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, said Friday that the pitcher should not exceed 180 innings, under orders from Dr. James Andrews, who performed the Tommy John operation.

The Mets are being careful with Harvey, but manager Terry Collins said Tuesday: “If the last series of the season means us getting in or out and Matt Harvey needs to pitch, he’s pitching. That’ll be his playoff. That’ll be the biggest game he has to pitch. He said he’ll pitch. I believe him.”

On Tuesday, Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez took to Twitter to offer his thoughts on Harvey’s situation.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner made it clear that he’s in favor of limiting the former All-Star, and he took a shot at his former organization in the process.

Harvey struggled in the Mets’ thrilling win. The 26-year-old gave up a career high-tying seven runs on eight hits in 5  1/3 innings and left with New York trailing 7-1.

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He and the Mets want to keep his innings count at around 180-185 for the regular season. Depending on how the Mets play from here on out — they hold a six-game lead over the Nationals in the NL East — it is possible this was Harvey’s last start until early October or in the postseason.

“I’m ready whenever they decide.” Harvey said. “I think I have a couple mechanical things to work on, but whenever they decide to throw me back out there I’m going to be ready and I’m definitely excited for it.”

He’s left it in the hands of the Mets.

“We’ll get him ready for whenever he’s going to pitch again, and hopefully he relaxes and has a better night,” Collins said.

If the Mets can keep the Nationals at arm’s length, they can save Harvey for when they really need him.

“I still believe Matt Harvey, deep inside, wants to pitch. And we’ll decide when he’s going to pitch again, because I know he wants to be out there and I know he wants to pitch in October,” Collins said. “But we’re going to need him to get there.”

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