Just three days away from the New York Mets' first playoff game in nine years, starting pitcher Matt Harvey missed a mandatory team workout on Tuesday and would later apologize to the team and fans for his absence.
The 26-year-old reportedly told New York manager Terry Collins that traffic was the culprit, but Harvey gave no explanation to reporters and the team did not elaborate either.
"Obviously today was not the greatest," Harvey told reporters at Citi Field after he arrived. "I know we had a mandatory workout. The last thing I ever want to do is not be here with my team. Basically there's no excuse. I screwed up. I wasn't here. I showed up a little late. I've talked to [general manager] Sandy [Alderson] and I've talked to Terry and my teammates and apologized to them and apologized to everybody. They understand. I'm here to get my workout in and be with the team.
"Unfortunately, today I screwed up. There's not really anything else to say. They know what happened. I told everybody and apologized to everybody and told them it's not going to happen again. It's never happened before. Unfortunately it happened kind of at a bad time, a mandatory time. Truly I just screwed up."
The National League East-winning Mets are about to embark on a five-game division series with the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers starting with Game 1 Friday at Dodger Stadium, with Harvey projected as the Game 3 starter.
However, Harvey, who won't be a free agent until after the 2018 season, has done little to curry favor with Mets fans and team brass this season. He’s posted a solid 13-8 record with a 2.71 ERA and 188 strikeouts over 29 starts this season, but his agent Scott Boras publicly feuded with the team over how it would manage his total number of innings towards the end of the season after he sat out all of last year recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Over his final five starts of the season, Harvey’s gone 2-1 with two no decisions but he hasn’t worked beyond the seventh inning and in his last four games the pitch count hasn’t exceeded 97. Harvey would later speak to Collins late last month about upping his workload, and altogether he’s worked 189 1/3 innings this season.
Harvey’s teammates weren’t too pleased about the incident either. One Mets player told the New York Daily News: “Well. I can't say I am happy about it. I guess we have to wait to see what happened.”
The team has not spoken about any sort of discipline over Harvey’s absence, and it’s clear they will need him against Los Angeles. The Dodgers will send out the two-headed starting monster of Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, while New York counters with Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.