Though the Mets will impose some limits on Matt Harvey when he takes the mound against the Yankees on Sunday night -- his first outing in 11 days -- they don't appear to be strict.
"There's no pitch count," manager Terry Collins said. "I don't know where that's coming from. There's no pitch count involved. I'm just going to limit his workload and that will be my decision when I think he should come out."
Collins said Harvey could be pulled after six or seven innings, though he left himself some leeway to exercise his own judgment as the game dictates.
"Obviously, if he's working very, very hard, it might be earlier," Collins said. "If he's cruising, it might be a little bit later. But he's not going to go deep . . . "
Harvey, 26, has not pitched since Sept. 8, at the height of a workload controversy that mushroomed when the pitcher and his agent, Scott Boras, insisted upon a hard cap of 180 innings.
The Mets have disputed that assertion, though they altered his schedule to limit his workload down the stretch with the intent of having him available for the postseason.
Aside from the national television audience and the extra scrutiny of the Subway Series, Harvey's start brings the added intrigue of being his first at Citi Field since the public spat.
Harvey triggered some fan backlash when he balked at committing to pitching in the postseason, a stance since reversed.
"He's Matt Harvey," Collins said. "When I come to the ballpark and he's pitching, there's a smile on my face. He gets up for these kinds of games."
Setup man Tyler Clippard was unavailable for a second straight day with lingering tightness in his back. The righthander injured himself while throwing during batting practice before Friday's series opener . . . Third baseman David Wright is slated to start in Sunday night's Subway Series finale, meaning he will be off Monday. The Mets have built in regular rest days for Wright since his return from a back condition.
First baseman Lucas Duda will start against the Yankees and CC Sabathia, though Collins pinch hit for him in a critical spot Saturday. With the bases loaded in the sixth against lefthander Justin Wilson, Collins sent up Juan Uribe, who struck out. "You've got to pick and choose your spots," Collins said of Duda. "He knows he's a big piece of the team . . . He'll be in there tomorrow and hopefully he gets some big hits."
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