Matt Harvey is flashing the dominant form that he showed prior to Tommy John surgery and it's presenting the New York Mets with an interesting dilemma.
Harvey turned in his second straight scoreless outing Tuesday night, tossing eight innings of four-hit ball in a 4-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
It was the sixth consecutive start of at least seven innings for Harvey, but here's the rub: The impressive stretch left him at 148 innings for the season and quickly approaching the team's mandated goal of keeping him under 200.
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"If we get into September and we've got to have the game Matt Harvey pitches, he's going to pitch it," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But that's why we've got to make sure he's OK to do that."
The Mets are trying a repeat of the scenario faced by the Washington Nationals in 2012, when ace Stephen Strasburg was shut down in September and missed the postseason after he reached his innings limit one year removed from Tommy John surgery.
New York has already attempted to implement a six-man starting rotation to curtail the innings on Harvey, Jacob deGrom and rookie Noah Syndergaard. That may also be the plan for September when rookie Steven Matz comes off the disabled list.
"We are going to do everything in our power to keep from shutting this guy down - any of those guys down," Collins said. "(Harvey's) on pace to get to his (limit) fast."
Harvey, who is 3-0 in his last four starts and has allowed one run in his last 22 2/3 innings, took a team-first approach after he was pulled from Tuesday's game despite throwing only 97 pitches.
"When we get down to the stretch, there's probably going to be some more issues like that where I don't want to come out at all -- and no pitcher at that point wants to -- but it is what it is in order to get me into October," Harvey said.