Turns out the Mets made a great addition to their postseason roster - an All-Star caliber pitcher. He replaced that guy who seemed more concerned about innings counts and preserving his arm for a future free-agent contract. Welcome back, Dark Knight!
As if it weren't enough that Matt Harvey blew away the Cubs in Game 1, he even took a line drive off his pitching shoulder in the sixth inning and waved it off. I half expected to see Scott Boras storm onto the field wheeling an MRI machine. But Harvey did not even throw a warmup pitch to make sure he was all right (Boras would have included that pitch in his pitch count).
Like many Met fans, I got fed up with Harvey in the later part of the season. Wilmer Flores cried when it looked like he was leaving the Mets. Harvey and Boras whined when it looked like Harvey would have to keep pitching for the Mets past what Boras claimed was his innings limit.
As I've said before, Harvey has every right to worry about his arm and Boras is just doing his job, though Boras did his client a disservice by making the dispute public. And I'm glad that Harvey ended up throwing under 100 pitches (97) on a cold night when his tricep swelled up from getting hit.
But this is the playoffs, and fortunately there is no debate from anyone on going all out. With all due respect to Steven Matz, who has great future potential, the Mets have a big three that needs to start the first three games of the NLCS so they all have the possibility of pitching again. That's why it's so important that Noah Syndergaard is pitching tonight in Game 2, even though he pitched in relief Thursday and warmed up four times.
I do hope, though, that Collins is eventually willing to go to someone besides Jeurys Familia in relief. Let the starters pitch deep into the games if they are doing well, not just because you are afraid to go to a middle reliever. Bartolo Colon has pitched reasonably well and no other reliever besides Eric Goeddel (who is not on the NLCS roster) has pitched poorly enough to rule them out. It's reasonable to expect that Syndergaard might not have a long outing tonight, and if so, it's a chance to determine who can be trusted in middle relief.
After picking the Dodgers in the first series because of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, I am not making that same mistake again. Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester? Big deal! Actually, it is a big deal for the Cubs to win tonight with the usually unhittable Arrieta on the mound. But even if they don't, this series is looking a lot brighter for the Mets than the tossup it appeared to be before it started. Lester was beatable in Game 1. And when the Mets turned on the bat signal. the Dark Knight rose to the occasion. Let's Go Mets!