If the bullpen that ranked second in the National League entering the Mets series starts looking closer to average - starts giving up leads - then that streak Maddon, Rizzo and the rest of the Cubs keep talking about could be headed in the wrong direction when it shows up.
They've got to do more than that.
"When I wrote it yesterday, I thought that the top three would definitely stay static", Maddon said of his batting order. Harvey finished out the inning but didn't come back out for the fifth. Harvey wasn't about to argue, either. His fastball slipped at one point to 89 miles per hour. "I think the last time I threw 87 (mph) with a fastball was probably freshman year of high school".
The leadoff heroics weren't enough on Wednesday, however, as the Cubs blew a 4-1 lead in a 9-4 loss to the Mets.
But he hadn't experienced this type of fatigue until now. I had pretty major surgery. Baltimore also evened its record at 32-32 after falling below.500 for the first time since October 3, 2015.
It wouldn't be a huge loss, the way Harvey has pitched this season, and the Mets can absorb it with last week's return of both Steven Matz and Seth Lugo, but nearly certainly it would force them to abandon their plan for a six-man rotation.
To that, of course, Collins might say: "So what's new?"
Only in a season this unusual could one see Friday's starting pitcher get a big hit, and Thursday's starter, Robert Gsellman, pinch-run.
Royals 7, Giants 2 • Mike Moustakas hit his 18th home run and visiting Kansas City also got homers from Jorge Bonifacio and Lorenzo Cain to win its fourth straight game. "He saved the manager, I'll tell you".
Yes, it's always something this season, and, no, there's never any lack of drama around the Mets, it seems. As for Harvey's return to the rotation, "the amount of time we expect he will be out is measured in weeks, not months", he said. Lucas Duda added a three-run homer off Hector Rondon, and T.J. Rivera capped the outburst with an RBI single for his third hit.
Weird night, all right, and a "very big win", as Collins called it.
"We're in New York", Anthony Rizzo said with a smile. Mets OF Michael Conforto (back) missed his third straight game.