As quoted by Adam Rubin on ESPN, Terry Collins said this when questioned about the availability of Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard for game 5 of the NLDS:
“We’re going to be smart about it,” Collins said. “We’re not going to be foolish and go right to Matt Harvey, say, if Jake’s in trouble in the second inning. I think we’ve got to be wise enough to know that this will be the first time he’s ever done something like this, too.”
News flash to Collins, Mets management, Harvey, Scott Boras, and anyone else involved in the decision-making process: this is an ELIMINATION game. That means, literally, win or go home. Which in turn means “all hands on deck.”
Collins’ response had nothing to do with any illogical innings limits boondoggle that may or may not be followed by Harvey or any other pitcher. Rather, Collins is suggesting that Harvey — and Syndergaard, for that matter — might not be brought in to the game because they’ve never before pitched in relief. What? Really?
Guess what? If Noah Syndergaard is needed to pitch in relief, he goes to the mound. If Lucas Duda needs to run to the bullpen to warm up a reliever, he’ll grab a mask and do it. If Jacob deGrom needs to leave the mound and play shortstop, then he’ll go there. Even though they’ve never done these things before. Because it’s potentially the last game of the season. It’s all or nothing. Everyone does whatever they need to do to win the game. This is not a time for “geez, I’d like to put the best guy possible into a spot, but he’s never before done it this way.” No. Every player understands what’s at stake, and will step up to do whatever is necessary. A manager hedging even a little bit is beyond comprehension. Further, if there IS concern about key pitchers never coming out of the bullpen before, then why wasn’t there thought or preparation of that three weeks ago?
Interested to hear your take on this. Fire away.