The Mets play the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday, and while attention will soon shift to what happens between the lines, there’s still lingering discussion regarding the Matt Harvey incident.
You know, the one where Harvey partied too late and then missed a mandatory team workout.
“It’ll pass,” former Met and current MLB analyst Bobby Ojeda said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “It shouldn’t have happened. It’s on him. It’s just inexcusable completely, but it’s over and it’s done with. They’ve got a larger task at hand and that is those L.A. Dodgers. I think they dealt with it as best they could. It’s unfortunate it got out. I would have loved if Matt would have called and they just squished it and said, ‘No, he had a personal thing come up. He’ll be here later.’ That would have been, I think, ideal, but that’s all in hindsight. It happened, they dealt with it and I do believe the team’s moved on.”
Harvey is slated to start Game 3 of the series Monday. If he pitches well, all will be forgotten. If he doesn’t pitch well, he’ll never hear the end of it.
“It’s going to be very ugly (if he puts up some crooked numbers), especially if they’re down two (games),” Ojeda said. “It’s going to be hideous. And he knows that. He feels that. But I think the impressive thing about Matt Harvey is he likes pressure, he likes being the bad guy, he likes that kind of thing. It drives him. Some guys like wearing the black hat and I think he’s one of those. I don’t think it’s going to impact his performance. Now he could hang a slider at the wrong time or leave a fast ball up over (the plate, and if) they lost (because of it), yes, he’s going to wear that forever. It doesn’t go away in any town, especially this town. So his back is up against it, but I think he’s big enough, strong enough, and tough enough and nasty enough to handle it.”
But Game 3 is still a ways off. The Mets need to focus on Games 1 and 2, especially since they’ll be facing Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, who went a combined 35-10 this season with 501 strikeouts.
Do the Mets have enough bats to win this series?
“Neither (team) stands out offensively,” Ojeda said. “I do think there’s one Achilles’ heels for the Mets, and that is that they . . . are a little dependent on the home run. They’re going up against a ball club that does not give up home runs, that plays pretty good fundamental baseball – unless Puig gets out on a limb like he does every now and then. I think this game is going to come down to fundamentals, I think it’s going to come down to base-running, I think it’s going to come down to defense. That’s where I think I give the edge to LA, but offensively, anything can happen.”