Matt Harvey caused a stir when he put pen to paper to announce in The Players’ Tribune that he intends to pitch in the postseason, despite having doctors recommend that he be shut down after 180 innings. The 26-year-old resides just 13 2/3 shy of that total in his first season since Tommy John surgery as the New York Mets play the second contest of their three-game series versus the host Washington Nationals on Tuesday.
“Let me get into detail after we’ve sort of worked it out among the parties,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. “I don’t want to get ahead of the situation and create another disconnect.” New York slugged its way to an 8-5 series-opening victory to move five games ahead of second-place Washington in the National League East. Ryan Zimmermann had a pair of singles on Monday to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, but is just 4-for-17 (.235) in his career versus Harvey. The right-hander has flustered Bryce Harper by retiring the Nationals star in all 17 career at-bats, including seven via strikeout.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, SNY (New York), MASN2 (Washington)
LINE HISTORY: Books opened the Nats -108 with a total of 7.
INJURY REPORT: Mets – 1B Lucas Duda (Probable, back), SP Matt Harvey (Probable, fatigue), LF Michael Cuddyer (Questionable, wrist). Nationals – CF Denard Span (Season, hip).
WEATHER: Temperatures in the low-80s under clear skies. Wind will blow out to center field at around 8 miles per hour.
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Think everything is perfect in Queens these days? Think again. Agent Scott Boras and the Mets are at odds over Matt Harvey’s innings with the team saying they’ll skip a few starts, but use him in the playoffs, while Boras contends that the doctors want him shut down. Stay tuned. The Nats did their best to keep pace with the Mets, beating up on their favorite punching bag (Atlanta) over four games. Now is their chance to finally make a move, with three home games this week against the Division Leaders (their last games against NYM until the final weekend).” Covers Expert Big Al McMordie.
Matt Harvey’s girlfriend Ania Cywinska and Gio Gonzalez’s girlfriend Berenice Lea Moures.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mets RH Matt Harvey (12-7, 2.60 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.38)
Harvey improved to 4-0 in his last seven starts on Wednesday after allowing four runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 9-4 triumph over Philadelphia. The seventh overall pick of the 2010 draft, Harvey’s run total versus the Phillies matched his complete tally of his previous six games (41 2/3 frames). Harvey has handcuffed the Nationals (3-2, 0.99 ERA and 0.88 WHIP) in his career, permitting three earned runs and 18 hits in 27 2/3 innings to post a 2-1 mark in four meetings this season.
Zimmermann recorded his fourth straight victory in as many outings after allowing one run on two hits in six innings of a 15-1 rout of Atlanta on Thursday. The 29-year-old has benefited from a power surge by his own team, which has amassed 44 runs in his last four starts. Zimmermann dominated the Mets in his season-opening debut, yielded three runs in seven innings in the next meeting before getting taken deep three times and surrendering five runs total in a 5-2 setback on Aug. 2.
* Nationals are 7-1 in Zimmermann’s last eight starts vs. Mets.
* Home team is 6-1 in umpire Dana DeMuth’s last seven games behind home plate.
* Mets are 9-2 in their last 11 road games.
* Over is 5-1 in Harvey’s last six starts as an underdog.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Fifty-three percent of Covers users are backing the Nationals.