NEW YORK -- In 2011, Matt Harvey threw 135 2/3 innings in the Minors. In 2012, the Mets starter threw 169 1/3 between the Minors and the Majors.
This season, Harvey has already thrown 178 1/3 innings. And there are 34 games left in the season.
Manager Terry Collins said the Mets have already placed an innings limit on their young ace, but they are still looking for more ways to lessen his late-season workload. Harvey gave up two runs on a career-high 13 hits over 6 2/3 innings in a loss to the Tigers on Saturday, and Collins said part of his struggles were a result of fatigue.
"That's what we've been trying to battle with the last two months," Collins said. "You've got a guy who's one of the best competitors I've ever been around, who thoroughly wants to pitch nine innings every night he's out there. And yet, you have to take into account what's in the best interest of the club, the team at the time and the organization down the road."
Collins said the Mets have looked into having Harvey back off bullpen sessions in between starts and back off his running program. The club has also talked about giving him extra days of rest where possible and even skipping him in the rotation.
"You're trying to put people in the seats out there, and having Matt Harvey out there every five days helps us," Collins said. "But we still know down the road, we have to keep this guy healthy."
Harvey is 9-5 with a 2.25 ERA and 195 strikeouts this season, but he's 1-3 with a 2.97 ERA in August.
"Everything is a learning process. I've never been through this before," Harvey said on Saturday. "Paying attention to it and figuring out ways to move past it is all part of learning and growing as a ballplayer. Everybody goes through it, and it's just a matter of pushing through it and figuring it out."
Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less