The Mets took a 3-2 lead into the top of the ninth inning yesterday, but ended up blowing it by coughing up four runs to the Giants. The runs scored as a result of some bad command on the part of closer Jeruys Familia who walked a couple of guys and gave up a couple of hits and some bad defense by Wilmer Flores who threw away what could’ve been a double play ball. Stuff happens.
Except, at least according to one columnist, this was not a matter of stuff happening. According to Dave Lennon, it was Matt Harvey’s fault:
Because this is a Matt Harvey World, and the Mets just happen to be living in it since the heartbroken pitcher went AWOL, we can partly blame Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to the Giants on the residue from his club-hopping fiasco over the weekend.
And here’s why.
Read his column for the why, but here’s the short version: since Terry Collins decided to push Harvey to Friday, newcomer Tommy Milone had to start yesterday and that led to the loss. “But wait!” you say. “Milone was pretty good, allowing two runs over five innings!” Yes, but his mere presence, Lennon argues, caused Terry Collins to overmanage on Tuesday, using his best relievers despite having a 6-1 lead, assuming he was going to punt Wednesday’s game, so he damn well better win on Tuesday. That meant that Familia ended up pitching three days in a row and, thus, yesterday happened. All thanks to Matt Harvey’s club-hopping.
- Except, as Lennon admits, Familia had only thrown five pitches on Monday and ten Tuesday and said he wasn’t gassed.
- Except, as Lennon also admits, Familia has pitched on three days in a row often, having done so once already this season and seven times last year.
- Except the Mets could maybe have gotten out of the ninth with a win despite all of this if Wilmer Flores hadn’t thrown the ball away.
- Except Terry Collins’ choice to use a bunch of relievers with a five-run lead the day before is is own mistake, and the notion that he was doing so for fear of what might happen yesterday is both (a) a stretch; and (b) was directly contradicted by what Collins himself said. Indeed, if anything, wouldn’t Collins be more likely to NOT use his relievers on Tuesday if he was truly concerned about Milone on Wednesday? He’d expect a bullpen game, right?
I get that Matt Harvey did a bad thing and that he should feel bad and all of that, but suggesting that it’s his fault the Mets lost yesterday is, in my view, more of an exercise in search engine optimization and hopping on a hot story than it is an exercise in reasonable baseball analysis.
Matt Harvey is guilty of a lot of stuff, but he didn’t lost the game yesterday.