Mets haven’t ruled out calling up Matt Harvey next week

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When it was first reported that Dillon Gee was headed to the disabled list with a blood clot in his right shoulder, Mets manager Terry Collins indicated that Miguel Batista would likely take his place in the starting rotation next Wednesday against the Nationals. However, Collins hedged a bit when asked about prospect right-hander Matt Harvey earlier this evening.

“We’re in the hunt,” Collins told Mike Puma of the New York Post. “This isn’t a tryout camp. So if the people who see [Harvey] say he’s ready, bring him up, I’m all for it.”

Chris Young is also a possibility to make the start on regular rest, which means the Mets could delay a decision on Gee’s replacement until July 21. While Collins called Harvey a “remote” possibility to pitch either game, it’s clear that his major league debut isn’t far away.

Harvey was selected No. 7 overall in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. The 23-year-old right-hander owns a 3.35 ERA over his first 234 innings in pro ball, including a 3.39 ERA and 102/42 K/BB ratio in 98 1/3 innings with Triple-A Buffalo this season. Baseball America recently ranked him as the No. 34 prospect in the game on their midseason list.

Red Sox look to punch their ticket to the World Series tonight

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Thanks to some amazing defense, some big hits and — to continue to beat this horse, a bad call by Joe West — the Red Sox have a 3-1 lead in the ALCS and look to clinch the AL Pennant tonight down in Houston.

If you believe in momentum, you’d have to say it’s on Boston’s side. If you believe that momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher, however, you’d have to say things favor Houston more than the standing of the series would suggest. All of which makes me wish Game 5 was starting right now, because it figures to be a tense and exciting affair.

ALCS Game 5

Red Sox vs. Astros
Ballpark: Minute Maid Park
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: TBS
Pitchers: David Price vs. Justin Verlander
Breakdown:

If someone told you that you had to win one baseball game against the Martians to save the human race, you could do far worse than calling on Justin Verlander to be your starting pitcher. Among the pitchers still in the postseason, he’d almost certainly be your choice right now.

Does Verlander himself appreciate the situation? This is what he said about that yesterday:

“I mean, these are all must-win games at this point. Every time you take the mound I don’t think there’s any difference whether it’s 2-2 or 3-1.”

Look, we’re asking him to beat the Martians here, not win the National Math Bee, so let’s let that go. The point is that after all of these years he’s still one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and after the exhausting, see-saw battle of Game 4, he stands the best chance of giving Houston what it needs: a quick, quiet and drama-free win.

Not that the Red Sox are likely to roll over for that. They didn’t the first time they faced Verlander in this series. They Astros won, yes, and Verlander limited them to two runs on two hits. But he also issued four walks and wasn’t his sharpest overall. Boston didn’t capitalize on his mistakes as best they could, but he’s not invincible.

For Boston it’s David Price. He allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over four and two-thirds innings in Game 2, not factoring in the decision. That’s not great, but given the talk leading up to that game being all about how Price is a postseason flop, the fact that the Sox won it in the end had to bouy him at least a little. As does the fact that, here, tonight, it’s not 100% on his shoulders. Sure, the Sox want to close this out, but with a 3-1 lead there is less pressure on Price than on his former teammate Verlander. Worth noting, though: Price is on short rest and warmed up in the bullpen last night in case he was needed to bail out Craig Kimbrel. He may not go deep into this game.