NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In just over a week, the Mets will appear in the postseason for the first time in nine years.
And ace Matt Harvey will be on the mound when the Amazin’s take on the Dodgers in the National League Division Series.
Over the past few weeks, there have been concerns over whether the 26-year-old — who missed the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery — would be able to pitch in the playoffs. There was also some question as to how much, if at all, he’d be limited.
Prior to the Mets’ loss in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, manager Terry Collins clarified that Harvey won’t be restricted by a pitch count in the playoffs.
“When he goes out and pitches, however many times that is, yeah, the reins will be off,” Collins said. “But we’ve still got to take into consideration we can’t pitch him six times.”
It’s still unclear how many starts he’ll make in the first round. How long the best-of-five series goes could also be a factor in the organization’s decision.
General manager Sandy Alderson said that the former All-Star will “probably” make just one start in the division series.
Harvey has pitched 183 1/3 innings this season. He’s 13-7 with a 2.80 ERA, and has struck out 177 and walked 37 over 28 starts.
The Mets are setting up their rotation for the playoffs in the final week of the season, though there is still plenty of incentive for them to win. The Amazin’s have a one-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage in the NLDS.
On Tuesday night, the Mets began preparing lefty Jon Niese for a bullpen role in October. He struggled, allowing a run on three hits in 1 2/3 innings pitched.
It was just the second career relief appearance for Niese. The 28-year-old last came out of the bullpen on July 10, 2011.
“You don’t have to think about trying to trick guys and you don’t have to go through the lineup three times, so you go with what’s working,” Niese said, according to The Associated Press.