NEW YORK—Managing innings for Matt Harvey, plus an entire team in a pennant race, is becoming quite a headache for Terry Collins.
Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia, and the N.Y. Yankees took advantage of Harvey’s early exit last night—routing the sloppy N.Y. Mets 11-2 to tighten the AL East standings just in time for a critical trip to Toronto.
New York, which leads the AL wild-card chase, moved within 2.5 games of the first-place Blue Jays heading into their three-game set beginning tonight.
Harvey was pulled after five innings with a 1-0 lead.
The Mets are curbing his workload down the stretch even as they try to close out an NL East championship—and attending to both details became awfully difficult yesterday.
“You don’t want to know what I was thinking,” Collins said.
“You might want to know but I can’t tell you.”
The defeat reduced the Mets’ division lead in the NL East to six games over Washington—13-3 winners over Miami earlier yesterday—with 13 to play.
Harvey’s previous turn was skipped after he got tagged by the Nationals on Sept. 8.
Pitching for the first time in 12 days, the right-hander yielded only an infield single while striking out seven.
“He was throwing the ball really well. It seemed like he had everything going for him,” noted Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi.
Six relievers followed Harvey to the mound—and none were particularly effective.
“It was extremely hard to take him [Harvey] out there,” Collins admitted.
“Couldn’t have set it up any worse than it was.”
Once the Mets went to the soft part of their bullpen, the Yankees quickly jumped ahead.
Two of the Mets’ four errors helped the Yankees score five runs (four unearned) off Hansel Robles (4-3) in the sixth.
“The last thing I ever want to do, especially in a close game like that, is come out,” said Harvey, scheduled for two more (probably abbreviated) starts during the regular season.
“I’m going to be ready for my next start, whenever it is.”
Sabathia (5-9) won for the first time since July 8 as the Yankees took two of three at Citi Field to win both “Subway Series” this season.