Matt Harvey wanted to stay in. The largest Mets crowd in Citi Field history wanted Harvey to stay in.
Terry Collins told Harvey he wasn't staying in.
Latest Mets stories
Harvey talked the manager out of it and stayed in. And the Mets ultimately paid the price in their season-ending 7-2, 12-inning loss to the Royals in Game 5 of the World Series Sunday night.
"I wanted it bad," Harvey said. "The way the game was going, the last thing I wanted to do was not finish what I started . . . I poured my heart out and I gave everything I had. Unfortunately, tonight it just wasn't quite good enough."
Holding a 2-0 lead, Harvey allowed a walk and an RBI double by Eric Hosmer to begin the ninth and was pulled with the score 2-1. The Royals went on to tie it against Jeurys Familia and scored five runs in the 12th for their first World Series crown since 1985.
The Mets were left with only questions.
"Obviously," Collins said, "I let my heart get in the way of my gut. I love my players. And I trust them. And so I said, 'Go get 'em out.' "
But it certainly was dramatic.
As the bottom of the eighth ended, 44,859 fans waited to see if Harvey would come out of the dugout to start the ninth.
Harvey, who understands drama like a Hollywood leading man, milked the moment for all it was worth. He faced the bench as his teammates took the field.
Finally, Harvey leaped out of the dugout and sprinted to the mound. He wanted to send the series back to Kansas City himself and fully live up to his Dark Knight heritage.
But the Royals didn't get a copy of the script.
Lorenzo Cain walked on a 3-and-2 slider, stole second and scored Kansas City's first run of the night when Hosmer lined a double over Michael Conforto's head in left.
This time it was Collins' turn to leap out of the dugout. He brought in Familia as Harvey walked off to a well-deserved standing ovation.
In the first eight innings, Harvey shut out the Royals on four hits with one walk and nine strikeouts. He had thrown 102 pitches. Nine pitches later, Harvey was out of the game and Familia, who already had blown two saves in the World Series, was in.
Familia got Mike Moustakas to ground to first as Hosmer took third with one out. With the infield in, Salvador Perez hit a broken-bat grounder to the left side of the infield. David Wright ranged to his left and threw out Perez at first.
But as the ball left Wright's hand, Hosmer took off from third. Lucas Duda's throw home sailed wide of Travis d'Arnaud and went to the backstop as Hosmer slid in with the tying run.
It was a no-decision for Harvey, a third blown save for Familia, and a million questions about whether Harvey should have been allowed to start the ninth.
"I said, 'You got it,' " Collins said. " 'You've earned this. So go get 'em.'
"So it's my fault. It's not his."