If Matt Harvey is still The Dark Knight, then he’s the Batman we saw at the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises, where Bruce Wayne could barely walk, let alone go out and fight crime.
Or maybe he’s Wolverine in the movie Logan, since Hugh Jackman’s iconic character is obviously over the hill and struggling to regain his former glory.
Harvey’s days as a super hero pitcher are obviously over. Instead we have a new normal of a former talented star, struggling to find himself and sometimes his former self comes out, but mainly, he’s struggles with one aspect of his game or another on a given night.
Tonight, Harvey had trouble with his control. Staked to a 7-0 lead, the Mets starter only went five innings, giving up two runs on three hits and walked four. He had trouble finding the plate all night, but was able to fight through for his third win on the season.
“It was a little shaky,” Harvey said. “Anytime you go out and give up the walks that you did and creep to 100 pitches is not ideal when you have a big league like that. I was able to settle in towards the end. I think the fifth inning was my best.”
Even with the win, you must wonder if this is what we can expect from Harvey going forward. Unfortunately, no one, not even Harvey knows what is in that arm and because of the multiple surgeries, he’s having problems repeating himself and keeping the same arm slot.
Maybe it will get better as the season goes along, but until proven otherwise, Harvey will be a question mark.
That’s not to say, there will be days he shows the Dark Knight of old. Sure, there will be magic out there, but those outings will be the exceptions and not the rule until Harvey gets a feel for his mechanics.
And there’s just so much the Mets can do to help Harvey. Looking at tape and working with Dan Warthen in the bullpen, only takes you so far. It’s now up to him to take the next step. And that includes finding a way to get it done when you don’t have your best stuff.
“We all want this guy to rise to the top so fast, because we know how good he can be,” said manager Terry Collins. “But even at the times he had that plus-stuff in 2013 and 2015, every once in a while, he didn’t have good stuff. You have to be able to pitch through it and tonight he pitched through it with not very good stuff.”
All of this is the evolution of the pitcher. Unlike the Bruce Wayne we saw in The Dark Knight Rises, there isn’t a miracle brace Harvey can put on his arm. Harvey is going to have to fight through this and every outing is going to be an adventure.
There will be days where he will be the Dark Knight of old, but more than likely, we will see the struggling Harvey as the new normal. But if he slowly gets better as the season goes along, then maybe he will find that touch before the end of the year.
It’s all we can ask for right now, as Harvey is that old warrior, who we always hope will come back and show those great glimpses of the past.