UPDATE(1:23 p.m. PT) Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that New York Mets manager Terry Collins has given his starting pitcher orders:
Terry Collins says he instructed Matt Harvey not to throw at anyone. #Mets
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) October 12, 2015
There’s much anticipation and hype surrounding Game 3 of the NLDS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, and it’s not just because of the normal intensity of a postseason matchup.
After a controversial slide in Game 2 that sparked a Dodgers rally and helped them tie the series, the series heads back to New York with a new wrinkle in the potential five-game series. Chase Utley’s late slide that broke Ruben Tejada’s leg was deemed excessive enough to warrant a two-game suspension by MLB in an unprecedented decision to enforce a rule that isn’t enforced too often. Utley appealed the suspension and it appears that the process won’t be completed before Game 3, meaning Utley will be available for the NL West champs.
Much of the talk before the third game is around a possible retaliation, something that Mets Game 3 starter Matt Harvey somewhat addressed via Mike Puma of the New York Post:
As far as sticking up for your teammates, I think being out there and doing what’s right is exactly what I’m going to do,” Harvey said.
Harvey’s plan to ‘stick up for his teammate’ could be deterred if umpires decide to issue a warning before the game, as he would face possible ejection if he hit a Dodger with a pitch. However, the umpires could decide to let things play out and wait to issue a warning once there’s a reason to.
It’s more than likely that someone on the Dodgers could get hit with a pitch and Utley is a candidate to be in the starting lineup because of his success against Harvey in his career. The veteran infielder has reiterated that his intent was to break up the double play and not injure Tejada, and he’s also issued an apology to the Mets shortstop via David Wright. It will be an interesting scenario to see how the teams react if revenge is served, as they will have to be careful to not cause anything that could lead to ejections.
Game 3 starts at 5:37 p.m. PT on Monday at Citi Field.