Matt Harvey has been a nice bounce-back story this season, as the 32-year-old has started the season well for the Baltimore Orioles after years of struggles. On Wednesday, he made his first start ever against his old team, the New York Mets. Fans welcomed him with a standing ovation.
As Harvey took the mound fans showed their appreciation for him:
That's a nice bookend moment for a guy who was billed as a franchise savior before he completely lost his ability to pitch at a high level. From 2012 to 2015, Harvey was dominant for the Mets, posting ERAs of 2.73, 2.27 and 2.71 as a hard-throwing strikeout pitcher. He consistently dealt with injuries but when healthy he was one of the best young starters in the game.
Harvey started the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field, but underwent Tommy John surgery several months later and missed the 2014 season, but bounced back in 2015. Harvey was so hyped in New York even got the nickname "The Dark Knight" bestowed upon him.
That moniker has stuck for years, so much so that SNY posted this on Wednesday before his start:
The man was dating models and was living life like he'd be the next Derek Jeter. Then in 2016 things began to fall apart, as he posted a 4-10 record with a 4.86 ERA in just 17 starts and struggled mechanically before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Things haven't been the same since.
Harvey was dismal for the Mets in 2017 and was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in May of 2018. He signed with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018, but struggled to a 3-5 record with a 7.09 ERA before being released in July. He's bounced around and had stints with the Oakland A's in 2019 and the Kansas City Royals in 2020. Neither was successful.
It seems he's discovered something with the Orioles this season. In seven starts, Harvey is 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. While those aren't dominant numbers they're certainly better than what he's produced since 2016.
It was nice to see Mets fans honor a guy who was such a promising young starter before falling apart due to injuries.