Certain people on this planet don't deserve Matt Harvey. Terry Collins is shaping up to be one of those people.
Harvey was incredible through six innings for the Mets during Game 1 of today's doubleheader against Atlanta. Harvey's first hit was in the seventh when Jason Heyward chopped a ball towards first and Harvey snared it and flipped to first. Problem was that Lucas Duda also went for the ball and Harvey would up flipping it to the ghost of Mike Marshall. But he got out of it and zipped through that inning. Then the fun started:
The Mets started the eighth with a four run lead thanks to Marlon Byrd beating out a base hit in the third (which for some reason was scored a fielder's choice initially) that scored Daniel Murphy from second, John Buck hitting a home run in the fourth, and Dan Carpenter not being able to find the plate in the eighth, which turned out to be more important than it should have been. Harvey started the eighth by walking Gerald Laird and giving up a single to Dan Uggla. It was obvious to everyone in the world that Harvey was out of gas, but TC gave Harvey one more batter. The result? Andrelton Simmons gets a base hit. Fine.
But then Collins, who was in no hurry to replace Harvey before was in such a hurry to get LaTroy Hawkins in the game that he ran out to make the change before Justin Upton could be announced into the game as a pinch hitter. Because he made the change so fast, Fredi Gonzalez was able to pull Upton back and send up Brian McCann, and then have Upton come up two batters later. Now I'll be the first person to hesitate to blame Terry for everything considering the roster he has. But for crying out loud he got outmanaged by Fredi Gonzalez! Because he made a mistake you learn in Managing 101!!! (Maybe 201 ... I haven't been to college in 20 years.)
Then after McCann strikes out, Jordan Schaefer singled home two runs off Hawkins to cut the lead to 4-2. Justin Upton then came up and hit into a fielder's choice (then thanks to Collins stayed in the game to play left field which could have seriously burned the Mets in the ninth.) So instead of bringing in Bobby Parnell to get a four out save, he brings in Scott Rice to face Heyward in a lefty-lefty matchup, and Heyward made it 4-3 with a single. So that's two obvious errors and one questionable bullpen move before Parnell finally came in to get the last four outs (and thankfully not have to face Upton.) So Harvey gets a much deserved victory thanks to his seven plus innings of work and because Dan Carpenter had Mel Rojas disease. Terry Collins meanwhile, may have to play the lottery because he's the luckiest person alive. Parnell deserves a steak dinner out of that, and Collins deserves to be hit with a pie by John Buck.
But don't let me bury the lead by not talking about Matt Harvey, who pulled his end of the bargain in the first half of the Harvey/Wheeler doubleheader. My favorite part of the game might have been hearing Leo Mazzone tell SNY's viewers that he was at the game today for the purpose of watching Harvey pitch, and that Harvey is his favorite pitcher to watch. Now that the Mets escaped with a victory in Game One, I can now fully enjoy how much Mazzone, one of the best pitching coaches alive, enjoys watching Matt Harvey pitch. Mazzone also had some great insight into how to manage pitchers and manage a bullpen. Oh, and Mazzone did end the interview by saying that he loves New York, which gets me wondering of Mazzone would like to come to Flushing and make some money on the side. You know, guiding pitchers as to the finer points of pitching. I believe they have a name for that kind of job ...
No, not mascot. We have one already. But nice try, Homer.