Matt Harvey Traded: The Dark Knight’s Rise and Fall In New York


By Jack Woodard, Staff Writer


On July 26, 2012, a rookie Matt Harvey took the mound for the first time ever as a New York Met.  He was brought up after an injury to Johan Santana and there was much talk about the 23-year-old pitcher.  Harvey lived up to that talk and did even more for the Mets. That game he went 5 ⅓ innings and only let up 3 hits while recording 11 strikeouts.  There was much talk about the rookie and fans loved him. Matt Harvey was supposed to be the guy that would lead the Mets to the promised land, but it never quite happened.

Harvey came into the next season carrying loads of expectations on his back, and he delivered.  Harvey became the fan favorite and was given the nickname, the Dark Knight. Fans started wearing Batman costumes to the games he pitched.  Harvey posters popped up everywhere and Matt Harvey was the face of the New York Mets. Harvey went 9-5 in 2013 with a 2.27 E.R.A and earned the title of All-Star.  The All-Star Game that year was at Citi Field and the Dark Knight took the mound to a roar of applause. He was all over Sports Illustrated and everyone knew the name, Matt Harvey.  There was no doubt that he was going to be the future of the Mets franchise.

After the 2013 season, fans took a punch to the stomach when they learned that Harvey was going to miss the entire 2014 season with Tommy John Surgery.  The Mets did not make the playoffs that year and 2015 came, with expectations for the pitching staff very high. The Mets had three aces in 2015 in Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard.  Harvey came back from injury and made his first start against the Nationals going six innings and letting up no runs. Bryce Harper guaranteed that Harvey was going to be a Cy Young winner one day. Analysts could not say enough about the guy, saying he might be one of the best Mets pitchers of all time.  Harvey went 13-8 on the year with a 2.71 E.R.A and appeared to be back to his normal self after the injury.  He even won multiple playoff games on the way to a World Series run for the Mets. The Mets ended up losing the World Series but there was much optimism surrounding the team in 2016.

This was when things started to go bad for Matt Harvey.  Harvey was not his average self, even though he was pitching pretty well.  On June 15, Harvey was placed on the DL and it was later announced that he would undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.  Matt Harvey missed the rest of the 2016 season and reporters began to question his ability to play without getting hurt.

In 2017, Matt Harvey’s production began to decrease.  He was also suspended from the team for 3 games for partying and showing up late.  Harvey was placed on the DL yet again for a stress fracture in his scapula. He came back in September but for very minimal time and with horrible results.  Harvey finished the year with a 6.70 E.R.A.  Talk began of him not wanting to be with the Mets and him wanting way too much money.  Harvey was doing a lot of complaining.

Mets fans were excited coming into 2018 as Harvey was back and the “Dream Rotation” was finally in order.  This was the lineup composing of Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler.  This pitching rotation was being talked about for years but none of the players ever played with each other at the same time.  The result was fantastic, for 12 games. The Mets started 11-1 and looked amazing. Matt Harvey pitched against the Phillies in his first game of the year, allowing 1 hit in 5 innings.  Fans were elated, the Dark Knight was back! But not for long. Harvey’s next 3 starts were atrocious. He allowed over 4 runs in each of them never going past 6 innings. On April 21, Harvey was placed in the bullpen and was not happy about it.  Harvey refused to talk to the media at certain points during his bullpen time and became more and more of a problem. More reports came of him partying and getting drunk before games and the Mets had enough. Matt Harvey, the guy who was supposed to be the future of the Mets, was designated for assignment on May 4.  The Mets then traded him for catcher, Devin Mesoraco, on May 8, and just like that the Dark Knight’s legacy was over. Fans will no longer see Matt Harvey in a Mets uniform, they can no longer hope that he will return to his pre-injury self, and they have to live with the fact that Harvey never quite got there.

Harvey being traded capped off the downhill spiral of events for him and the anger that Mets fans had for him is now released.  Fans were booing him off the mound during his bullpen games and every Mets fan wanted him off the team. Now that he is gone, the harsh reality kicks in, the days of the Dark Knight are over. Matt Harvey, the face of the Mets franchise, the future, never reached his full potential and his days on the Mets have now come to an end.