“No way, NO WAY!”


NEW YORK — In the bottom of the sixth inning of Game 5, Yoenis Cespedes fouled a ball off his knee with the bases loaded and nobody out. He was in obvious pain, unable to put any weight on his leg. Despite the clear opportunity to add to the Mets’ lead, Terry Collins let Cespedes stay in the game. He popped up weakly to the infield. In reality, Cespedes had no business being in that game at that point. Collins should’ve taken him out.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthan walked up to Matt Harvey in the dugout to tell him he was coming out of the game following eight shutout innings and nine strikeouts, up 2-0.

“No way. No way!” Harvey barked. He maybe said it four times, actually. Warthan, obviously not the final world on the matter, apparently told Harvey that it was manager Terry Collins’ call. So Harvey sought out Collins.

“No way!” Harvey said again.

Collins relented. Harvey stayed in. It was the second time in the space of two innings Collins deferred to his player. It was the second time in two innings that the decision ended up costing the Mets, as Harvey put two men on and the Royals rallied to tie it.

So much more went into that rally — a horrible throw by Lucas Duda that should’ve pegged Eric Hosmer at home plate before he could score the second run chief among them — but at bottom, Collins deferring to his players are why the game is tied 2-2 right now instead of over and on its way back to Kansas City.

I blame Collins for the Cespedes call, as he clearly was hobbled. I am more forgiving of the Harvey call. Harvey had been amazing all night. It’s got to be hard to disbelieve your pitcher when he so emphatically says he’s good to go. More cosmically, you don’t stand in the way of potential greatness, and Harvey was authoring greatness for eight innings on this night. We’re not paid to manage a baseball team and we want to see amazing things happen. Maybe leaving Harvey in was a bad baseball move, but I for one can’t say that I was saying that before the inning started so I won’t second guess Collins now.

But, as I post this, the game is in extra innings when it could’ve been over. We don’t know how it will end. If it ends with the Royals popping champagne, it will be a long, cold winter in New York in which people ask themselves whether Collins should’ve left Harvey in the game.

“No way!” I imagine a lot of them will say.

Yanks pitcher Severino has lat strain, likely to start on IL

severino injury
Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees could be opening the season without three-fifths of their projected starting rotation.

Right-hander Luis Severino has a low-grade lat strain, Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters Saturday, putting the two-time All-Star at risk of starting the season on the injured list.

“Obviously it’s going to put him in jeopardy to start the year,” Boone said.

Boone expressed optimism this wouldn’t be a long-term issue but acknowledged that Severino “most likely” would get placed on the injured list.

Severino, 29, went 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 19 starts last season. He struck out 112 in 102 innings.

Boone said the issue arose after Severino made his last start on Tuesday.

“Afterwards when he was kind of doing his workout, arm-care stuff, he just felt some tightness in there,” Boone said. “He came in the next day and it was a little tight, and then yesterday he was going to go out and throw and that tightness was still there enough to where he wanted to go get it looked at.”

The Yankees already won’t have right-hander Frankie Montas or left-hander Carlos Rodón for the start of the season.

Rodón, who joined the Yankees by signing a $162 million, six-year contract in the offseason, has a left forearm strain that will cause him to open the season on the injured list. Rodón has been an All-Star the last two seasons, in 2021 with the Chicago White Sox and in 2022 with the San Francisco Giants.

Montas is recovering from shoulder surgery and won’t begin throwing until at least late May.

The only projected starters from the Yankees’ rotation likely to be ready for the beginning of the season are five-time All-Star right-hander Gerrit Cole and 2022 All-Star left-hander Nestor Cortes.


Jacob deGrom struck out six over 3 2/3 shutout innings against the San Diego Padres in his final start before making his Texas Rangers regular-season debut.

The Rangers had announced Friday that deGrom would get the start Thursday when the Rangers open their season against Aaron Nola and the Philadelphia Phillies. The two-time Cy Young Award winner signed a five-year, $185 million contract with the Rangers in the offseason after spending nine seasons with the New York Mets.


Zack Greinke pitched 5 1/3 innings in his final test before he gets the ball against the Minnesota Twins in Kansas City on Thursday.

It will be Greinke’s seventh opening day start. At 39 years old, he will be the oldest opening-day starter in the history of the Royals franchise, breaking his own record set last year. He will be the the oldest opening day starter in the American League since a 40-year-old Curt Schilling started against the Royals in 2007.

Greinke allowed two runs on five hits against the Dodgers with no walks and two strikeouts.

“He was great today,” first-year manager Matt Quatraro said.“It certainly looked like the way they (Dodger batters) were taking those pitches, he was just dotting the plate on both sides. His two-seamer and changeup looked really good. It was encouraging.”


First baseman Luke Voit has opted out of his minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, giving the veteran slugger the opportunity to negotiate with other teams. He also could still return to the Brewers on a major league contract.

In other Brewers news, right-hander Adrian Houser left his start Saturday after 1 2/3 innings due to groin tightness.