Mancuso: No Longer The Matt Harvey Issue

Matt Harvey is no longer an issue for the Mets and the drama is over. Instead manager Mickey Callaway and the Mets  have to figure how to win again and getting shut out three times this week is presenting more drama.

Saturday at Citi Field Matt Harvey was designated for assignment. There was minimal talk about the end of the Matt Harvey era, as GM Sandy Alderson called it. So the Mets took the field and lost their fifth straight game to the Colorado Rockies and Matt Harvey was not in the clubhouse. He wasn’t in the bullpen which led to the end of “The Dark Knight” at Citi Field.

Yes, it is a sad ending and Mets fans were saying that at Citi Field Saturday night. The 2-0 loss to the Rockies, their fifth straight did not change the mood and those who report on this are not as sad, obvious Matt Harvey was not that media friendly pitcher and had no last words before his departure.

And as much as every Mets fan cheered and booed for Matt Harvey, and they booed him off the mound the  last time as a Met Thursday afternoon, his legacy will be the highly touted draft pick who was a part of this core of young arms that would propel the Mets to the top of the heap and for a long time.

But Harvey became the issue off the field in between Tommy John Surgery and other medical issues. He will be remembered as the “Dark Knight” that convinced then manager Terry Collins to go out for another inning in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series.

The rest is history. Matt Harvey was never the same. But the Mets moved on and gave Harvey some time. Those young arms of Harvey, who lost his role as the ace, along with Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz, they never were healthy and pitching as a unit at the same time.

Steven Matz was the only reason for any optimism at Citi Field Saturday evening, that came out of this loss.  The left-hander who has been struggling tossed six innings and allowed one run on three hits and with the Mets offense in a tailspin, an issue during this homestand, the Rockies got two runs and it was supported by a first inning home run to deep center from Nolan Arenado, his eighth of the season.  

The  third time in their last six games a run has not come home. The Mets look lost at the plate but manager Mickey Callaway was enthused as to how Matz threw with conviction and how he settled down after that first inning home run.

“Did a good job with the tempo in between pitches,” said Callaway. Matz (1-3) struck out five and got the loss. It was his longest outing since July 3, 2017 at Washington. So this was a good sign for the Mets, a team that is dealing with adversity after getting off to a quick and good start in April.

Callaway said he was disappointed about the outcome for Matt Harvey. But now it is time to move on and Steven Matz did respond. The difference, Harvey allowed his ego to interfere. Callaway and his GM could not battle the “Dark Knight” that was no more at Citi Field.

“The rhythm gave me more conviction,” said Matz. “It’s good to see results. It’s a building block.” Different, because Matt Harvey never said anything with conviction He never looked at going to the bullpen, or taking a demotion to Triple-A as a building block.

Steven Matz gave the proper response, and yes this was a building block that hopefully can carry over to his next start.  For now, the Matt Harvey drama for the Mets is over. They also need to get some hits and of course score some runs, and right now that is also a matter of importance.

The season is not slipping away in early May because baseball is that type of game of ups and downs.The Mets have time to build this block again and not the way Matt Harvey let his “Dark Knight” career escape New York.

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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