Thursday, August 30, 2012
Mets News and Notes: Citizen Bank Park, Harvey, Shoppach, Quick Pitch, Cecchini, Nimmo, Bye-Bye Buffalo, First basemen Homers
The Mets are now 7-1 at Citizens Bank Park this season. And they already have clinched their third series win in Philadelphia in 2012. The only other season in which the Amazin's won three series of three-plus games in the City of Brotherly Love came in 1989.
Collins acknowledged pregame that Harvey is expected to be shut down before the end of the season due to an innings limit. Including Wednesday's workload and his minor league duty, Harvey has now logged 152 1/3 innings. Sandy Alderson previously suggested Harvey may be capped in the 165- to 170-inning range, although a team insider said the total may get to 175.
Kelly Shoppach started the past two games, although Collins said Josh Thole now would catch through Saturday, with Shoppach's next opportunity Sunday in Miami against southpaw Mark Buehrle. The manager said Shoppach needs to play enough so the Mets can gauge if he's a match for 2013. Thole is 0-for-21 over his past seven starts. “We’re going to see more righties than lefties,” Collins said. “I want to give Kelly a shot. We brought him here to find out if it’s going to be a fit. So I think he needs some playing time to find that out.”
The Mets entered Wednesday averaging just 20.4 seconds between pitches, according to FanGraphs, the fastest pace in the majors. Their starting pitchers have been particularly brisk, averaging 19.4 seconds between pitches, more than half a second faster than any other team. There is, of course, no trophy for working the fastest. And speed is not a prerequisite for success. But Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen strongly discourages pitchers from dawdling on the mound.