Logan Verrett couldn't understand what all the fuss was about when he was tabbed to make Sunday's spot start in place of New York Mets ace Matt Harvey.
"Why's everybody freaking out?" Verrett jokingly asked Harvey on Friday. "Don't they know I'm a way better pitcher than you?"
Pretty bold talk for a rookie who was already let go by two other teams this season and had never made a major league start, but Verrett backed up his words - even if they were in jest - with his best Harvey imitation.
The 25-year-old right-hander tamed a lineup that had scored nine runs in each of the the pevious two games, limiting the Colorado Rockies to one run and four hits over eight innings as the Mets completed a three-game sweep.
The Mets opted to skip Harvey's turn in the rotation in an effort to keep his innings down, but the announcement caused quite a stir among fans of the team despite their five-game lead atop the National League East.
"Matt needed a break and got it, and this kid really stepped up," said Collins, who expects Verrett to remain a key contributor down the stretch. "We're going to use him and use him in some big situations too."