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Matt Harvey says if Mets make playoffs, he's pitching

New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey reacts

New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey reacts at the end of the top of the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays in a baseball game at Citi Field on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

MIAMI - Matt Harvey wrote Sunday what he refused to say Saturday: That if the Mets make the playoffs, he plans to pitch.

Harvey, in a column on Derek Jeter's website "The Players' Tribune," on Sunday night put to rest the controversy started by his agent Friday when Scott Boras said the Mets would be putting Harvey "in peril" if he threw more than 180 innings this season.

Harvey, in an entry titled "I Will Pitch in the Playoffs" that was posted after the Mets' NL East lead was cut to four games Sunday, wrote: "You've heard about the 180-185 innings cap. That seems to be the number that will allow me to pitch into the postseason. Regardless of those numbers, I hope everyone knows: I have always wanted to play. I have always wanted to pitch every single chance I get. Especially in the playoffs.

" . . . But there has never been a doubt in my mind: I will pitch in the playoffs. I will be healthy, active and ready to go."

Harvey, who is listed as The Players' Tribune's "New York City Bureau Chief," also wrote: "Together, we are coming up with a plan to reach an innings limit during the season. It will be a compromise between the doctors and the Mets organization to get me, and the team, to where we need to be for our postseason run. I understand the risks. I am also fully aware of the opportunity the Mets have this postseason. Winning the division and getting to the playoffs is our goal. Once we are there, I will be there."

Harvey's written words were quite different from his spoken words Saturday, when he first addressed the latest innings-limit controversy.

Harvey said Saturday that he has been told by his surgeon that he should not throw more than 180 innings in his post-Tommy John season. He already has thrown 166 1/3. Harvey made it sound as if he were going to heed that advice and end his season soon, regardless of the Mets' wishes.

On Sunday, a source said Harvey was shocked and stung by the backlash he has faced from Mets fans on social media. He skulked around the Marlins Park clubhouse before and after the Mets' 4-3 loss to Miami and ignored interview requests.

Even before Harvey's column appeared, Boras had begun to backtrack, telling "Matt Harvey wants to pitch. We're trying to work out a plan that the doctor approves of."

Boras did not return a request for comment.

Mets manager Terry Collins said he plans to speak with Harvey.

"I think it's a challenge for him," he said. "This guy is a young star player who is all of a sudden hit with something he hasn't had to deal with before. I'm going to have a conversation with him. But I always feel this: It's not what you say, it's what you do. Go pitch good. The rest will take care of itself. The biggest statement he can make is to go pitch his butt off on Tuesday. That'll speak volumes. That's pretty much what I'm going to tell him. Maybe not in those nice words.''

General manager Sandy Alderson, who was not with the team in Miami, is expected to meet with Harvey on Monday in Washington before the series with the Nationals.

Alderson, in a telephone interview before Harvey posted his column, said of the possibility of Harvey's pitching in the postseason: "I think that's something to be determined [Monday] or thereafter. I really can't answer that question today. I'll talk to Matt [Monday]. I don't have an expectation."

According to a team source, though, the Mets already believed Harvey would pitch in the playoffs if the Mets made it.

"He'll be there," the source said.

According to the source, the Mets are looking at further limiting Harvey's innings in the regular season. He still is on schedule to start Tuesday against the Nationals.

On Saturday, Harvey refused to assure Mets fans that he will pitch in the playoffs. Asked directly if he planned to pitch in the postseason, he said only: "Like I said, I'm focused on Tuesday," a phrase he repeated often.

David Wright made it clear that he wants the Harvey nonsense to end.

"Nobody in here is distracted," the captain said. "Not a person is distracted. Matt's ready to go. Matt's ready."

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