NEW YORK -- Citi Field was quiet on Friday morning, save for a grounds crew that had begun the process of replacing the "NLCS" paint on the grass with a "World Series" version. But tucked inside the home clubhouse, manager Terry Collins was busy with his staff, discussing the Mets' World Series rotation.
For the first time, the Mets have a legitimate choice between National League Division Series Game 1 starter Jacob deGrom and NL Championship Series Game 1 pitcher Matt Harvey. Both will be well-rested heading into Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, and capable of taking the ball in Kansas City. But while convention may point to deGrom, who is 3-0 this postseason and was New York's best pitcher over the balance of the summer, the Mets believe Harvey may be most equipped to appear three times in the World Series. For that reason, they are considering using him Game 1.
"The one thing we're looking at with Jake is the last couple of times out, he looks like he could use some time," Collins said. "He's been erratic with his command, and that to me is due to a little bit of fatigue. So is it going to benefit us to start him and use him three times? Look, you've got to put them in situations where they're going to have more success. I'm not sure just where we're going to go yet, but I like our rotation no matter who's out there."
Asked directly if Harvey could pitch three times in the World Series, Collins said: "It's a possibility." That came in direct contrast to the skipper's words about deGrom.
At this point, Harvey and deGrom are at least penciled in for Games 1 and 2 in some order, with Noah Syndergaard scheduled for Game 3 and Steven Matz for Game 4. The first three of those starters will all pitch twice if the World Series goes at least six games.
But whoever starts Games 1 and 5 would be a more realistic bullpen option in Game 7 than who starts Games 2 and 6. The Mets are unsure if deGrom, who has thrown 40 more innings this year than ever before in his career -- and who appeared fatigued at times in Game 5 of the NLDS and Game 3 of the NLCS -- is physically primed to be that guy.
Harvey, who delivered one of his best starts in Game 1 of the NLCS, could be. Though he is coming off Tommy John surgery and has also eclipsed his previous career high by more than 23 innings, Harvey appeared stronger than ever against the Cubs.
"We're going to ride that pitching," Collins said. "And by the way, our pitching right now could use a blow, because we're pushing them pretty hard. I'm glad our starters are going to get an extra day."
Whether it's deGrom or Harvey in Game 1, the Mets will not finalize their rotation until Friday night at the earliest.
"I don't care who we play, you've got to like our pitching," Collins said. "And I don't care what park we play in, I like our pitching. We've pitched good in Philly, we've pitched good in Denver -- you name it, we've pitched good, because these guys are good. I've got a lot of confidence in them."