On his top-rated radio show this afternoon, Mike Francesa blasted the New York Mets for pulling the plug on Matt Harvey after only five innings of work last night.
Francesa is the long-running, afternoon drive-time host on CBS-owned sports radio WFAN in New York City.
After making sure to inform his listeners that he attended two of the three games in person, the opinionated sports commentator claimed the Mets should be ashamed of themselves for pulling ace Matt Harvey out of the game last night based on a pitch count.
This act ruined what Mike described as a “great New York weekend” and, at the same time, he claimed, failed to prepare Harvey to pitch a complete game, if necessary, in the upcoming MLB playoffs.
The Mets completed a sold-out, three-game interleague series with the crosstown rival New York Yankees at Citi Field last night.
An unusually emotional Mike Francesa argued that the Mets decision to prematurely take pitching star Matt Harvey out of the game was nauseating, made him sick, and was crazy because the Mets have as yet “clinched nothing” and they “took their foot off the gas pedal” before the regular season is over.
The Mets, who going into tonight’s action have a six-game lead in the National League East over the Washington Nationals, “neutered” Harvey as a force, the WFAN radio host claimed.
Manager Terry Collins replaced Harvey with a reliever after he tossed five scoreless innings, with the Mets ahead of the Yankees 1-0, perhaps as a result of pressure from the righty’s agent.
“Harvey has thrown 176-2/3 innings in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, and agent Scott Boras has said doctors don’t want the 26-year-old ace to surpass 180 — although Harvey says he would be available for the playoffs,” ESPN explained.
The team subsequently got bombed by the Bronx Bombers, losing 11-2, with the inept bullpen imploding in the latter innings. Once Harvey departed, the Mets turned the matchup into a “March exhibition game,” an irate Francesa declared, while insisting that Collins was equally livid after the game because “other people” were making pitching decisions.
In May 2013, Sports Illustrated dubbed Harvey the “Dark Knight of Gotham,” which Francesa alluded to in his burn embedded below.
“This was Harvey; this was your Dark Night. And you turned it into a very dark night, very quickly by pulling him out of the game…if they pull a stunt like this in the post-season, the team will never live it down. The pitcher will never live it down…Do you think that’s how you’re preparing the team to compete two weeks from now? The idea is to win these games…the Dark Knight looks like Cinderella…”
About the Sunday night effort, Matt Harvey told the New York Post that “The way things were going, the last thing I wanted was to be coming out of a game like that.”
Mike Francesa recently ended his two-year-old simulcast on Fox Sports 1 and is in the process of finding a new television partner. His show previously aired on the YES network for 12 years.
[Photo by Elsa/Getty Images Sport]