Nearly two years ago to the day, the New York Mets became concerned about Matt Harvey's workload after he admitted to being tired following his 25th start of pitching at least into the sixth inning.
He was diagnosed with a season-ending injury two days later.
The Mets aren't taking any chances this time in the midst of a playoff race, electing to give rookie Logan Verrett a spot start in place of Harvey as they seek their 11th straight win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
Harvey didn't feel comfortable while losing to Detroit on Aug. 24, 2013, prompting manager Terry Collins to discuss at the postgame press conference how the Mets planned to limit his innings for the rest of that season.
It became a longer break than expected, as Harvey chose to have Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss all of 2014. Harvey is 11-7 with a 2.57 ERA in 154 innings over 23 starts, and Collins believes this is the right time to skip his prized young right-hander's turn in the rotation.
The Mets (66-56) have a five-game lead over Washington atop the NL East.
"It's always hard when you're going to take one of your best pitchers and not pitch him," Collins told MLB's official website. "But here's our options: We either do it now or we do it in September. And I don't want to do it in September, so I'm doing it now."
Verrett (0-0, 0.68 ERA) gets a chance to make his first major league start after making four relief appearances for Texas before being designated for assignment in April and seven more in three stints with the Mets. He's allowed one run and four hits in 13 1-3 innings since joining New York.
The right-hander's toughest job in this contest could be protecting a lead if the Mets continue their hot hitting. They've posted back-to-back 14-9 wins over the Rockies (49-72) after Juan Lagares, Curtis Granderson and Wilmer Flores finished with three hits apiece Saturday.
Yoenis Cespedes had two hits a night after joining Shawn Green (2002) as the only players with at least five hits, five runs, three homers and seven RBIs in a game since 1954.
New York has won 10 in a row against Colorado, posting a 2.60 ERA despite giving up 18 runs in the last two games.
The Mets' latest victory came without leading run producer Lucas Duda, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list earlier Saturday. Duda left Friday's series opener after complaining of back pain following his sixth-inning at-bat.
''Hope he comes back 100 percent and helps us finish it off," Collins said.
David Wright, who has been out since April 14 with a lower-back issue, is expected to return Monday at Philadelphia, but the Mets first are focused on sweeping Colorado for the second time this month.
The Rockies' 2-10 stretch began when they lost all four in New York from Aug. 10-13. Saturday's defeat was their eighth loss when scoring at least eight runs.
David Hale (3-4, 6.17) takes the mound looking to improve Colorado starters' 7.29 ERA over the last nine. Hale spent more than a month on the disabled list with a groin strain before giving up six runs in five innings of Tuesday's 15-6 loss to Washington.
''I felt fine physically,'' Hale said after making his first start since July 4. "I was falling behind a little bit and let them get into good counts. My offspeed felt good but my command was a little off with the fastball.''
The right-hander had no record with a 4.50 ERA in two starts and two relief appearances against the Mets while with Atlanta last season.