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Sunday, May 5, 2013
Matt Harvey will adjust to extra rest

By Adam Rubin

ATLANTA -- Terry Collins considered having Matt Harvey pitch today against the Atlanta Braves, on his previously scheduled day. But the manager decided that would be unfair to Jonathon Niese, whose game was postponed Saturday.

So Harvey instead gets pushed back until Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox at Citi Field. Had Niese waited until that day, he would had eight days off between starts -- double what is normal.

Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press
Matt Harvey is now lined up to pitch Tuesday and Sunday at Citi Field.

Of course, Harvey facing the Sox means he will be pitching on three extra days of rest. Harvey plans to throw an extra side session in the bullpen today at Turner Field to stay sharp.

"You try to keep them as prepared as you can," Terry Collins said. "... I don't like it. That's one of the issues we've talked about. We talked about it on the road trip in Colorado. This game is about routines and repetitions. When you get these guys out of these routines and their reps, it's a problem."

Harvey is coming off an outing in which he threw a career-high 121 pitches in 5 1/3 innings last Monday in Miami, but he said he felt fine even the following day.

"I was fine all week," Harvey said.

Collins said the staff originally mulled having Niese start Friday and Harvey start Saturday in Atlanta on regular rest, and using Thursday's off-day to push back Shaun Marcum. They opted against it, though.

"I told them both: 'Hey, look, it's May 1,'" Collins said about opting against it. "After Monday we go 16 in a row. So to have an extra day now going into the 16 in a row, I'll take the extra day. The extra two days, three days, I don't like it. But that's what it is."

Said Harvey: "It's kind of an unfortunate thing that happens. You've got to deal with it. It's an adjustment. It's definitely not the first time that I've gone seven or eight days without pitching. This goes back to last year when we kind of had that situation when the innings limit was coming around. Seven or eight days was happening quite often. ... Last year with extra rest I didn't feel I had any trouble with command. My body feels extra rest is extra good."

As for tomorrow's off-day on the eve of his start, Harvey said he will be at Madison Square Garden cheering on the Rangers in Game 3 of their first-round NHL playoff series against the Washington Capitals. Harvey said the Rangers are unbeaten in the four or five games he has attended this season.

"I'll be there," Harvey said. "They're all right. Get some wins back at the Garden. They'll be fine. ... I heard from the Rangers. They're excited to have me back."

Harvey won't be singing "God Bless America," a la Kate Smith, though.

"I'm not singing anywhere," Harvey said with a laugh.