On July 26th, 2012, New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey made his MLB debut. In his first-ever big league start, he struck out 11 batters en route to a Mets win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Following the first start, he continued his success throughout the season, posting an earned run average of 2.73. Overall, he looked extremely promising and was poised to become an ace for the foreseeable future.
Harvey was in a rotation that had CY Young winner R.A. Dickey in it in 2012, so he wasn’t the main thought in the team’s rotation. However, he still had an extremely impressive rookie season.
Harvey’s Incredible 2013 with the Mets
After a great rookie season in 2012, Matt Harvey took the next step in 2013, even on a below-average Mets team.
Harvey’s first start of 2013 was nothing short of incredible. He went seven scoreless innings, only allowing one hit and two walks in a win over the San Diego Padres. His spectacular 2013 season as the former flame-thrower tossed a complete game shutout over the Chicago White Sox in early May, only allowing one hit. He held them hitless through the seventh inning. His earned run average was just 1.28 after the May 7th start.
After an incredible first half of the season, Harvey was named an All-Star starter for the national league. It was a great accomplishment to reward a fantastic season.
The Mets ace continued his success up until August 24th, when his season would be cut short due to Tommy John Surgery he would need to undergo. He would miss the entire 2014 season.
Harvey Comes Back Strong in 2015
Since Tommy John Surgery kept Harvey out all of 2014, many had concerns about whether or not Harvey would maintain his 2013 form in 2015.
However, after a dominant first start against the Washington Nationals in which he lasted six scoreless innings, the old version of him looked to have remained. On May 18th, 2015, he had a masterful performance against the St. Louis Cardinals, pitching eight scoreless innings while striking out nine. His strikeout percentage on the year was around 25 percent, and he looked like the ace he was before his injury.
Once other pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz were called up to the big leagues later in 2015, many feared New York would have one of baseball’s best rotations with Jacob Degrom also in the mix.
Mets Questionable Decision
Matt Harvey was excellent in the playoffs as well. However, a certain decision by former manager Terry Collins could have ruined Harvey’s confidence in the future.
In Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, Collins elected to keep Harvey in the game for the ninth inning as New York was up 2-0 in the game. However, Collins’s decision proved to be a costly mistake and the Royals tied the game off Harvey, later taking the lead and winning the series.
To this day, it remains a mystery if this moment changed the course of Harvey’s career. The positives would end here.
A Horrid 2016
Matt Harvey was excellent for his first three seasons with the Mets, and many thought he would be even better in 2016. However, that was far from reality.
In a World Series rematch on Opening Night in Kansas City, Harvey simply did not have his best stuff. He lasted five and two-thirds innings, allowing eight hits and four runs, striking out just two in a loss. While that game alone didn’t cause much concern, his strikeout numbers were way down in April, prompting concern following his rough May starts. Harvey allowed 19 runs over three starts, including allowing 9 in mid-May against the Nationals.
Before a season-ending injury in early July, he only recorded one outing where he struck out ten or more batters. Though he looked like his old self from time to time, consistency was nowhere to be found.
His 2017 started great. After a great first start against the Braves in which he allowed just two runs on three hits in six and two-thirds innings, he allowed three or fewer runs in his next three starts. The team had hoped he was beginning to look like his old self again.
Unfortunately, he was awful after that. There were several starts in which he allowed seven runs.
From injuries to poor pitching, Harvey’s Mets career was in jeopardy after 2017.
Career Post Mets
Following a few rough starts in 2018, Harvey was eventually moved to the Mets bullpen and then traded to the Reds. What was once a promising career with New York came to a halt after two awful years.
Since then, Harvey has yet to find a consistent home and had an earned run average over six with the Orioles in 2021. Additionally, he was suspended early this year due to his involvement in the Tyler Skaggs death by distributing a prohibited drug.
It seems like Harvey’s days as a big-league starter are over, and probably for the better. While it hurts to see, he just doesn’t have it anymore.