An era has finally come to an end. On Friday, Sandy Alderson announced that Matt Harvey had been designated for assignment. He was 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA and lost his starting spot in the rotation a few weeks ago.
Although Matt Harvey has had his trouble the last few years, it’s hard to forget how good he was and the potential he had. He was called up to the big leagues in 2012 and made his first start against the Diamondbacks on July 26th. He instantly stole the hearts’ of Mets fans. In that first game, Harvey pitched 5.1 innings, gave up zero runs, had 11 strikeouts, and earned the first win of his career. Over the next two months of the 2012 season, the Mets and their fans saw that ace they had been waiting for. Matt Harvey finished the season 3-5, 2.73 ERA, and 70 strikeouts in 59.1 innings.
The Dark Knight Rises
In Harvey’s first full season in 2013, that is where the nickname “The Dark Knight” really started to takeoff. He dominated each and every start and looked like the Mets had their ace for the next ten years. He threw hard and had a ton of movement on his pitches. His first half performance earned him the nod as the starting pitcher for the All-Star game. However, at the end of August, Matt Harvey would soon learn he would need Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2014 season. It was a sad day for the Mets, but they knew he would be back. Harvey still finished fourth in Cy Young voting and went 9-5, 2.27 ERA, and had 191 strikeouts in 178.1 innings.
The Return of the Dark Knight
The Mets entered 2015 with higher expectations than the last few years and they knew they would get their ace back in Matt Harvey. Once again, the Dark Knight didn’t disappoint in his first trip back on the mound. He secured his first win of the season, going six innings, nine strikeouts, and giving up zero runs. Matt Harvey had a very good season coming off of Tommy John surgery and played a huge part in the Mets World Series run. He finished 13-8, 2.71 ERA, and 188 strikeouts in 189.1 innings.
Of course, the season still had controversy with Harvey, as well. In September he reached his innings limit and their were rumors that he wouldn’t pitch in the postseason. As it all turned out, he pitched in the postseason and pitched well. He started four games and had a 3.04 ERA.
The Mets entered 2016 as one of the favorites and Harvey was handed the ball on Opening day. He didn’t pitch great, but he didn’t pitch bad. The rest of the season was a mixed bag, but there was a lot more bad than good. He was finally shutdown in April and had his second major surgery, thoracic outlet.
Matt Harvey would return for the start of 2017, but it was hard to tell how he would do coming off a second major surgery in his career. He had a good April, but then his season started to spiral. He was getting knocked out of games early and eventually landed on the disabled list for two and half months. He returned in September, but his performances were much of the same as earlier in the season. He ended the season with a 6.70 ERA.
Finally, Matt Harvey entered 2018 with a little more hope. Mickey Callaway was hired as the Mets manager and thought he could help fix him. He pitched five scoreless innings in his first start this season, but the next three didn’t go well. He was then put in the bullpen and that went just as poorly. Sandy Alderson gave him the option to be sent to the minors, but Harvey refused. That led to him being designated for assignment on Friday.
Many fans have different opinions on Matt Harvey from disliking him for his partying, disliking him for how he sometimes treats the media, or just because he hasn’t pitched well. However, it is hard to deny that he was one of the first major reasons for the Mets turnaround. Injuries are awful and an easy way to derail someone’s career with so much potential.
It might not be the last time Harvey pitches, but it is an end to an era for the Mets.