Matt Harvey began supplying the nervous energy well before the start of the Mets' emotional 2-1 victory over the Yankees Tuesday night. Typically stoic, the Mets' phenom admitted he "couldn't sit still" as he waited for the start of play, delayed by 1 hour, 31 minutes by a passing rainstorm.
Manager Terry Collins laughed later on as he recalled Harvey ducking his head into his office at least four times, asking when he would finally be able to take the stage.
Once he did, Harvey once again did not disappoint, allowing one run in eight innings to help the Mets prevail with a ninth-inning rally against Mariano Rivera.
"It's emotional for us," said Collins, who watched his team's latest dramatic comeback in the video room.
For weeks, Collins has suppressed the urge to let emotions get the best of him. Even as his Mets struggled to score runs, even as they faded further from relevance, even as they lost games they should have won, Collins cited lessons learned from the past, when his temper cost him jobs in two cities.
This time, Collins directed his wrath not at his own players, but at second-base umpire Adrian Johnson. Collins was livid that Johnson changed his mind by calling Ruben Tejada out in the sixth inning, when he was picked off from second base, killing a potential Mets rally.
Meanwhile, Collins watched as his latest lineup reshuffling produced essentially the same result. For the month of May, the Mets' offense entered the game ranked 28th or worse in runs (73), average (.220), on-base percentage (.286) and slugging (.361).
Against Hiroki Kuroda, who has emerged as the Yankees' ace, Collins responded by moving Marlon Byrd into the fifth spot while dropping struggling Ike Davis to eighth for the first time in his big-league career.
The result? Byrd and Davis totaled no hits.
The final straw for the red-faced Collins came when Tejada short-circuited the Mets' potential rally, getting picked off while already in scoring position, with cleanup hitter Lucas Duda at the plate.
Collins said he didn't look to get ejected when he argued the call. However, it seemed the Mets took the cue.
In the sixth, when Harvey allowed his only run to put the Mets behind 1-0, the pitcher slammed his glove down.
But it was Duda who delivered redemption. Rivera, pitching in his final scheduled game at Citi Field, allowed a double to Daniel Murphy. David Wright followed with a tying single before Duda gave the Mets the biggest win of their season.
In the dugout, and in the clubhouse afterward, Harvey described an emotional scene.
"You could tell everyone wanted to get a run so bad," Harvey said.
Yet, for all the nervous energy, for all the outbursts, for all the instances when he wore it on his sleeve, Harvey collected himself enough to throw what Wright called "a magnificent game."
"To not get caught up in the hype is tremendous," Wright said. "It's easy to do that in this series, it being [his] first one, with the hype to live up to. For him to come out with the emotions in check . . . I think is big and shows his maturity level."