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New York Mets: The rise and fall of The Dark Knight Matt Harvey

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ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 09: Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout during the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on June 9, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 09: Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout during the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on June 9, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 08: Starting pitcher Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals in the first inning at Nationals Park on April 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Harvey’s Final Mets Days

The end of the 2017 season marked the departure of beloved Mets manager Terry Collins, and the hiring of former Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway for the 2018 season.

The coaching staff, Matt Harvey, and Harvey’s agent Scott Boras saw this as a chance to rebound. New coaching meant new approaches, something that Harvey desperately needed, plus a chance to not be the pitcher in the rotation with all of the pressure on him to be the best.

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Keep in mind, Jacob deGrom was an established top of the rotation pitcher, Noah Syndergaard had already had tremendous success, and Zack Wheeler was expected to have a huge year (which he did). Harvey didn’t have to be the “Dark Knight” in 2018, he just had to get outs, keep the ball of off bats, and keep the Mets in the ballgame, which he didn’t do.

In 2018, according to ESPN.com, opposing hitters made contact in 82.1% of their swings against Harvey, good for 14th worst in the league. He had no velocity, no biting slider, and no changeup that used to dominate hitters. The Mets gave Harvey ample time to try to rebound and perform better, but baseball is a business, and they decided to designate him for assignment. But there’s a catch here, Harvey denied the assignment.

And just like that, after all of the success in the early years of his career, the Dark Knight had gone from a New York celebrity, star athlete, to a pitcher scrambling to find a team.

Harvey found a new home when the Mets traded him to the Cincinnati Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco. He tossed four shutout innings for them in his debut while allowing only a single hit.

Some Mets fans (myself included) were left wondering where that had been all season in a Mets uniform. Personally, I questioned if Harvey was performing poorly on purpose, waiting to be designated and released so he could start somewhere fresh.

Matt Harvey had, and maybe still has tremendous talent, but unfortunately, I don’t think he’ll ever be the same. His tenure with the Mets began on such a promising note and ended with both sides resenting each other.

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Days after reporting to camp for the Los Angeles Angeles in 2019, he’s already hurt with a pulled glute muscle. I won’t even make the pain in the butt joke.

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