Yankees-Mets Preview

Matt Harvey has pitched at least eight dominant innings both times he has faced the New York Yankees.

It's guaranteed the New York Mets won't let him go nearly that long this time.

Harvey will take the mound for the first time in 12 days when he opposes CC Sabathia on Sunday night in this three-game series finale at Citi Field.

Harvey (12-7, 2.88 ERA) has pitched 171 2-3 innings, though the Mets (84-64) insist that the figure of 180 that agent Scott Boras says is his limit is not something to which the franchise needs to strictly adhere.

"We realize there's an innings limit and we realize he's close," manager Terry Collins told MLB's official website. "He is going to pitch if we get to the postseason. So, now, how do you get to that point? How do you get him into that?"

The right-hander was rocked for a career high-tying seven runs over 5 1-3 innings and didn't get a decision in an 8-7 victory at Washington in his last outing Sept. 8.

With an eye on the innings count, the team skipped Harvey's turn after that start, with rookie Steven Matz being inserted into the rotation.

Harvey's last outing is in stark contrast to how he has fared in two career starts against the Yankees (81-66), yielding three runs over 16 2-3 innings. Harvey came within one out of a complete game in his longest outing of the year April 25, an 8-2 victory in the Bronx.

The Mets won't give him the chance to get even close to that Sunday.

"We're going to keep a very close eye on him," Collins said. "The Yankees will decide when he comes out, but it won't be real deep in the game."

He'll be opposed once again by Sabathia (4-9, 4.93), who was ripped for a season-high seven runs in five-plus innings in that April matchup. That left him at 2-2 with a 4.11 ERA in five career Subway Series starts.

The much-maligned Sabathia, though, held an opponent scoreless for the first time this season with 6 2-3 innings in a 4-1 road victory over Tampa Bay on Monday. He didn't get a decision.

"CC threw the ball as well as he's thrown it all year," New York's Alex Rodriguez said. "Four pitches for strikes, and it's not just about speed, it's throwing the ball with conviction. Tremendous performance by CC. Very encouraging."

David Wright is 4 for 12 against Sabathia, but other Mets have fared poorly in the matchup. Michael Cuddyer hits .207, Juan Uribe is at .191 and Yoenis Cespedes is 1 for 11.

The Yankees evened this series with a 5-0 victory Saturday. Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Brian McCann also connected while Michael Pineda combined with six relievers on a six-hitter.

''You need those guys to step up," manager Joe Girardi said of Beltran and McCann.

Cespedes is 0 for 8 in the series and hitless in 16 at-bats in his last four games after homering nine times in 13 games to start September.

It's uncertain if Mets reliever Tyler Clippard will be available after he was forced to miss the first two games of this series when his back tightened up during pregame warmups Friday.

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