Mets: Matt Harvey needs to be more Iron Man, less Dark Knight

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Matt Harvey
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Matt Harvey /

New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey has looked really good so far in 2018. The key to his success may be to emulate the “Dark Knight” less and become an “Iron Man” instead.

Nicknamed the “Dark Knight” by his adoring fans, New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey must summon a different superhero in 2018. Plagued by injuries over the last two years, Harvey needs to be a little less Batman and a lot more Iron Man.

Channeling his inner Tony Stark, Harvey pitched very well in his first start of 2018. In order to keep up with the hot start, Harvey must avoid the disabled list as much as possible.

For the New York Mets, nobody’s success is more important. We know Noah Syndergaard is a stud and Jacob deGrom will make batters look foolish. Harvey is the wild card in this rotation. If he’s anything like he was in his early days, the Mets suddenly have a trio of reliable arms instead of just two.

Take a look at the last few teams to play in the World Series. Other than the 2014 and 2015 Kansas City Royals, pitching was a major component. Those Royals teams that went to back-to-back championships won via clutch hitting and above average pitching from often average arms. World Series winners also benefit from a healthy roster. As important, their pitchers stayed healthy.

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What’s in it for Harvey?

Pitching well and staying healthy is essential for Harvey this year even from a selfish standpoint. He’s in his contract year. Without a full year to add to his resume with some nice statistics to boot, Harvey will face a judgemental offseason next winter.

At the moment, it’s hard to imagine anyone giving him a guaranteed shot at a rotation spot. Unless he’s ready to fight for a job, he better perform his best in what might be his last year with the Mets.

Of course, Harvey benefits in the present by pitching well, too. The pain of losing in the 2015 World Series surely lingers. The Mets haven’t had their rematch, but that could all change this year. One way they get there is if Harvey stays healthy and effective on the mound.

How do the Mets keep Harvey healthy?

Keeping Harvey on the field will take plenty of factors. Enough rest, proper training, and a pocket full of four-leaf clovers should do the trick. Other than following common sense, there’s not much the Mets can do.

The responsibility will lie on Harvey more than anyone else this season. He’s the guy with the most to lose.

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Baseball doesn’t have sudden death. However, for a player like Harvey coming off of two bad years and no guarantee of a job next year, this is pretty much do or die.