Harvey could make next start a day early

Struggling Mets righty will pitch against Nats on either Monday or Tuesday

Harvey could make next start a day early

NEW YORK -- After a night to reflect, Mets officials from the front office to the field staff crowded into a Citi Field room on Friday to determine Matt Harvey's immediate future. Some in the group believed Harvey should miss his next start, neither his mind nor his right arm fit to proceed against the Nationals. Others thought the team should let Harvey bull through his issues.

In the end, it was Harvey who largely determined his own fate, convincing Mets brass that he is fit and able to start next week in Washington.

"He wants to battle through it," manager Terry Collins said. "If you know him, his personality is that type where he's going to do what he has to do to get better."

The only remaining question is when. Because Harvey threw only 61 pitches in Thursday's 9-1 loss to the Nationals, a game in which he was pitching on extra rest in the first place, the Mets are considering moving up his next outing from Tuesday to Monday. In either case, he will pitch against the same Nats team that bombarded him for a career-high nine runs Thursday at Citi Field.

In the interim, Harvey will do extra throwing this weekend on top of his routine between-starts bullpen session. The Mets are convinced that nothing -- not even general fatigue -- is physically wrong with Harvey, instead describing his issues as mostly mental. How Harvey comes out of his extended throwing program should determine whether he starts Monday or Tuesday in Washington.

"We know he's healthy," Collins said. "We've just got to get through this confidence issue to trust his stuff."

That is why Collins considered it particularly important for Harvey to walk into Citi Field on Friday afternoon, less than a day after bloating his season ERA to 5.77, and tell his manager that he wants to pitch. It was enough to ease the minds in a room which were at that point still uncertain of Harvey's fate.

"We got as in-depth as you possibly can get," Collins said of his meeting with team officials. "We dissected every angle there was. And in the end, knowing this guy like we do, he wants to pitch. He wants to fight through it. He isn't going to run and hide. He wants to get out there. So we're going to do that."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.