The Mets Are Officially Tempting Fate

As the numbers suggest, the Mets have a good chance to win the division. However, that is predicated on the Mets maintaining the status quo. That officially goes out the door when the Mets skip Matt Harvey‘s start today. 

We all know with Harvey, and Harvey alone, there is an innings limits issue. As per my estimates, Harvey was going to throw approximately 208 innings. Skipping one start will bring him down to 201.1. It seems like this will be the only start the Mets skip because they intend on using a six man rotation when Steven Matz returns. It appears that Matz’s first start back with the Mets will be September 1st or soon thereafter. 

If that’s the case, here is when Harvey will pitch for the rest of the year (assuming a six man rotation from September 1st until the end of the year):

  1. 8/28 vs. Red Sox
  2. 9/4 at Marlins
  3. 9/10 at Braves
  4. 9/16 vs. Marlins
  5. 9/23 vs. Braves
  6. 9/30 vs. Phillies

If the Mets didn’t switch to a six man rotation, guess how many starts Harvey had left?  Seven. Therefore, Harvey will only pitch in one less game. He’s still going to go over his innings limit as he will finish around 195 innings. He’s pitching against much weaker opponents in the stretch drive than he would have in a five man rotation. Speaking of which, this is the stretch drive. The time to do this has passed. 

The other problem is that pitchers pitch worse in a six man rotation than in a five man rotation.  Furthermore, if the Mets make the playoffs, they’ll likely only go with four starters. This means you want to go from giving your pitchers a month of extra rest and changing their routines to quickly shifting back and getting them less rest than normal. 

I don’t have a study that supports this, but I would assume this type of treatment is also dangerous to a pitcher’s arm health. It would then appear the Mets are tempting fate with their pitchers’ health. I hope my assumption is wrong and this won’t be the case. 

For the life of me, I don’t know why the Mets are doing this now and not earlier in the year. I just hope this won’t give the Nationals an opportunity to win the division. 

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