It’s Throwback Thursday after all, so let’s go back in time for a minute. It’s the 2015 World Series. The Mets have their backs against the wall, down 3-0 against the Kansas City Royals. Matt Harvey has pitched 8 strong innings as the Mets hold on to a narrow lead heading to the 9th inning.
Closer Jeruys Familia had already blown Game 1 and never recovered, so Harvey talks then-manager Terry Collins into letting him finish what he started. He heads out to the mound to a raucous applause from the Citi Field faithful, only for it to fall apart in front of his own very eyes as the Royals came back to finish the sweep and take the World Series. Harvey sat in the dugout, dejected as Collins attempted to console him.
Since then, The Dark Knight has only seen dark times, and mirrors a broken man…
This current season, the former Mets ace has finally hit rock bottom, being banished to the bullpen and no longer viewed as a starting pitcher. His first appearance from this new role was Tuesday, where he walked one batter, struck out two, and gave up one run in a extra-innings Mets win.
When reporters kept asking him about it after the game, Harvey replied with the same refrain, “I fucking don’t want to…” Some would look at this reaction as if it were a spoiled child who received coal on Christmas Day, but true fans of the Mets have seen this attitude for years now.
This is the same pitcher who missed a game last season because his then-girlfriend Adriana Lima had stepped out on him the night before with Patriots wideout Julian Edelman. His reaction was going on a bender even though he had to pitch the next day, now he’s crying over losing that right he never really handled responsibly in the first place. Karma is an interesting thing, isn’t it? Now he’s an ’emotional wreck’ when it comes to his career as well.
His decline in performance on the field is also deserving of this demotion. Since his breakout season in 2013, which was cut short due to Tommy John Surgery, his ERA has gone up from 2.27 to 5.87 this season when he was starting. Last season, it was 6.70. It’s tough to argue that you’re nothing less than a starting pitcher when you’re giving up six runs a game. What’s even more heartbreaking for the Mets is that these past two seasons where Harvey has been awful, they’ve been paying him a salary of just over $5,000,000. That’s more bread than most make in a lifetime ma, and they’re not allowed to wallow in self-pity when shit hits the fan because they don’t have racks chilling at the crib like Harvey does, with New York City at his disposal.
Mets Manager Mickey Callaway stated that Harvey was handling the demotion “like a man,” but from what he’s shown in terms of body language and when he’s asked questions about the situation, it only screams self-loathing and apathy.
Wearing a hoodie, sulking in the bullpen because he’s no longer the face of franchise and part of the pitching staff he once led, Harvey doesn’t look like a former All-Star making $5 million on the books.
Instead, he looks like a shell of himself, wandering off into deep thought as he looks in the distance, who would give all of this up just to be what he once was again…
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