Matt Harvey, who was once called the “Dark Knight” of the New York Mets, became well-known as a great pitcher with a powerful fastball and a strong drive to win. But after getting hurt and having trouble on the field for a few years, his once-promising career went downhill.
Fans and reviewers alike started to wonder, “What happened to Matt Harvey?” In this piece, we will look at how the former All-Star pitcher got to where he was and how he got to where he is now. We will also look at what led to his fall.
What Happened to Matt Harvey?
The brash, fireball-throwing pitcher Matt Harvey, who soared to fame in Queens as a superhero, then fell back to earth due to injuries and controversy, announced his retirement from professional baseball on Friday. Adieu, baseball. And thank you,” Harvey added to a larger Instagram post in which he reflected on his career and expressed gratitude to his family, friends, fans, and former colleagues.”
Harvey, who was selected by the Mets in the first round of the 2010 draft, captured the attention of New Yorkers three years later when he went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA over 26 starts, started the All-Star Game at Citi Field, and frequently appeared on the gossip sections of local newspapers. He debuted on the Sports Illustrated cover that summer under the moniker “The Dark Knight of Gotham,” which stuck with him for the remainder of his professional life.
David Wright, a longtime Mets teammate, said in a telephone interview on Friday, “I’ve been lucky to be around some greats, but there’s nobody who carried that additional attention or that charismatic, Broadway-type performance component to the mound with them every fifth day as Matt did.” Every fifth day, there was just this can’t-miss, you’d better tune in event that might be extraordinary.
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Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery in August, missing the whole 2014 season, and openly arguing with team officials about the specifics of his rehabilitation. As a result, Harvey’s story soon turned into one of potential waste.
His hours total was closely monitored by fans and team officials as he returned to the mound the following season and had new success among a group of up-and-coming young pitchers that included Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz.
Harvey was initially reluctant to pitch in the postseason, but he eventually changed his mind and delivered the career-defining performance: eight scoreless innings in Game 5 of the World Series against the Royals. However, manager Terry Collins’ decision to let him play into the ninth inning at Harvey’s insistence led to two runs and a loss.
“I know it ended badly, but he pitched into that ninth inning,” Matz reflected on the incident on Friday in St. Louis. “It was really entertaining to watch him compete. He got off to a great start and thrived on the events in New York. I enjoyed coming over and observing him do it.
In hindsight, that evening served as Harvey’s professional high point. His 2016 campaign was a complete failure, and it was discovered in the middle of the summer that he required surgery to remove a rib and treat the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome. Harvey never fully bounced back.
He produced a 6.70 ERA the next season despite declining velocity and was moved to Cincinnati in 2018 when he started the process of changing teams five times in four seasons. Following the accidental overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs in 2019, Harvey found himself at the center of criticism in Anaheim.
Harvey admitted in court that he had given Skaggs narcotics when they were teammates. He gave evidence at the trial of Eric Kay, a former employee of the Angels who was ultimately found guilty of providing Skaggs with the oxycodone that caused his death. For breaking Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program in 2022, Harvey was suspended for 60 games.
Harvey made his debut appearance at Citi Field in 2021 as an opponent and was greeted with several standing ovations. In 2022, he pitched in Baltimore’s Minor League system, but he never advanced to the Majors; as a result, he became a free agent in November.
In the 2023 World Baseball Classic, Harvey pitched for Team Italy, which marked his final appearance in a major game. There, he had enough success to consider making a comeback, but two months later, Harvey gave the news. With a 50-66 record, a 4.42 ERA, and 867 strikeouts over 966 1/3 innings, he completed his big league career.
Harvey posted on Instagram, “To the fans, most importantly the NY Mets fans: you made a dream come true for me.” “A fantasy that I could never have imagined coming true. Who would have imagined that a young person from Mystic, Connecticut, would be able to play in the world’s finest metropolis, his hometown? You have a permanent place in my heart.”