Mets Insider: Sunday is once again Harvey Day

By on April 19, 2015

Matt Harvey gets the ball on Sunday for the series finale against the Marlins. In Harvey’s first start back after missing the 2014 season to rehab from Tommy John surgery, he went six scoreless innings for a win in Washington.

In his first start at Citi Field, he got a win over the Phillies but allowed three runs over six innings including a pair of homers. He will be making his fifth start against the Marlins and has yet to beat them.

“His command was OK. I don’t think his stuff was plus-plus like it normally is,” Collins said. “A lot of it has to do with how he got all geeked up for his first start, and sometimes it’s tough to bounce back. I’ve had too many of the great pitchers in the game tell me that part of their spring training years ago was to get ready for start No. 2.”

CHALLENGING CALL
The Mets were fortunate that a challenge that overturned the Marlins’ third out of the third inning didn’t also cost them a run. Adeiny Hechavarria had reached on a one-out single and taken second when Mat Latos sacrificed. Dee Gordon’s ground ball to shortstop Wilmer Flores ended in a close play at first.

Umpire Sean Barber called Gordon the third out. First baseman Lucas Duda, apparently aware of the mandate to play through all close calls, wheeled and threw home in an attempt to nail Hechavarria at the plate.

Catcher Travis d’Arnaud caught the ball standing on the plate but did not apply a tag, having seen Gordon called out. Replay officials overturned the call at first, but put Hechavarria back on third base.

Miami manager Mike Redmond raced out of the dugout to protest, but stopped short because the result he got was the result of a review.

TERRIFIC TRAVIS
Travis d’Arnaud threw out speedy Dee Gordon stealing in the first inning and now has thrown out three of seven would-be basesteallers (43%). Last season he threw out only 19%… Vic Black (shoulder) pitched a scoreless inning for Double-A Binghamton, his third outing in a minor league rehab appearance. Collins said he must pitch well on consecutive days before he is ready to return.

CLOSING TIME
After saving five games in six days, Jeurys Familia was told by Collins he wouldn’t have to pitch in Saturday’s game. The amount of success – his and the Mets’ – speaks to how well he has adapted since taking over the role of closer after Jenrry Mejia’s 80-game suspension for taking a banned substance.

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While some might not have predicted the success based on his 5.99 ERA in spring training, Collins thinks too many people cared about spring training stats.

“Spring training is about… getting ready. When the season starts, it’s a different animal,” Collins said. “He was working on things. We asked him to throw more four-seam fastballs to try to change the eye level. Those are things he worked on and during the process he got beat up a little, but he didn’t get down about it.Now the games count and you’re seeing the same stuff we saw at the end of last season.”

Familia started in the organization as a starter, but got moved to a relief role after the 2012 season because he hadn’t developed a third pitch to go with his sinking two-seam fastball and slider. “We thought a shorter role and workload would help out,” said Collins, who added that Familia has incorporated a splitter this season.

He decimated Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton Friday night with his diving arsenal.

“When his ball sinks, you see guys night after night swing over the top of it,” Collins said. “It’s really difficult to get it centered. . . . If it’s sinking, it’s really hard to hit. It’s really hard to get elevated. That’s one of the reasons I thought in the back of the bullpen he’d be successful: he doesn’t give up home runs.”

The last question about Familia as a closer has yet to be answered. How will he handle it if he blows a save or two?

“Only time will tell. I can’t answer that right now. We look at a couple games he had last year where he had a rough outing, which wasn’t a lot, he bounced back from it,” Collins said. “When you’re closing it’s a little different than in the eighth inning… As we get into this, if he has a bad outing, we’ll be able to see how he handles it.”

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Baseball – NY Daily News

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