Sunday, June 23, 2013

The REAL Reason Why Matt Harvey Is Starting Friday

In Terry Collins' post-game interview session, he alluded to the fact that Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler should be separated in the rotation, with Dillon Gee starting between them.  Although separating the Dynamic Duo would allow opponents to see a different style pitcher in Gee rather than getting two fireballers back-to-back, I believe I know one of the underlying reasons why Collins is separating the two pitchers.  And it has everything to do with July 16.

With Jonathon Niese now on the disabled list, the six-man rotation has been scrapped.  Therefore, Harvey's next start would have been on Saturday, June 29 because of tomorrow's off-day.  That would have put Harvey in line to pitch on Thursday, July 4 and Tuesday, July 9.  The Mets have their next off-day scheduled for Thursday, July 11.  However, with the Mets' first game after the All-Star Break scheduled for Friday, July 19, it would behoove the Mets to start Harvey on Sunday, July 14 - five days after his July 9 start.

There's only one problem with that.  By starting the last Sunday before the break, Harvey would not be allowed to pitch in the Midsummer Classic by MLB rule.  And how would that look with the game being played at Citi Field this year?  Therefore, by starting Harvey this coming Friday, his final start before the All-Star Game could be moved up to Saturday, July 13 instead of the final Sunday before the break.

Sure, it's always good to give opposing teams a different look from game to game, as it keeps them off balance at the plate when they face pitchers who have different styles.  But is that the real reason why Collins is thinking of separating Harvey and Wheeler in the rotation?

We know the real reason.  And fans looking forward to seeing Harvey pitch in the All-Star Game at Citi Field know the real reason as well.  It wouldn't be the same if July 16 wasn't a Harvey Day.

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