Not too long ago, Matt Harvey looked like the guy who was going to elevate the New York Mets from baby brother to perennial contender. The guy had it all. He had the confidence, the swagger, and just enough arrogance to survive in the New York market, while rubbing a few people the wrong way. Oh, and he had the talent to dominate the major leagues for the next decade. Then, in what seemed like a blink of an eye, it was all gone. He no longer had that look on the mound that told everyone in the stadium that he was about to dominate. Where exactly did things go wrong for Matt Harvey?
Well, it is tough to pin point exactly when he lost his “it” factor, but I think I have an idea. I am sure you all will remember exactly what I am talking about. Game 5 of the World Series, Harvey had thrown 8 dominant innings. Jeurys Familia was ready to come in and close it out, but Harvey had different plans. He convinced Terry Collins to let him go out there in the 9th to finish it. You have got to give the guy some credit for having the guts to want the ball in that situation, but it didn’t work out. He gave up a lead off double and a few more base hits. He was chased from the game. The Mets ended up losing that game and the series to the Royals.
I am not suggesting that he was physically hurt that game, rather I believe it is more psychological. I just think mentally he has not been the same since that game. Of course, all of his injuries have contributed to his lack of success as well. However, he still has plenty of talent and pure “stuff” to be successful in the league. He just can’t figure it out and I really believe it all traces back to that night in October of 2015.
What happens if Harvey did come out of the game in the 8th? More than likely Familia would have closed it out and forced a game 6. Maybe the Mets find a way to win game 6 and force a game 7, and who knows at that point. More importantly though, Harvey is not shaken up from blowing the biggest game of his career and maybe he is the same pitcher today. It is impossible to ever know for sure. One thing I do know, in all likelihood, Harvey’s Met career is very close to ending. I think it would be best for everyone to just move on and start over. Harvey Dent was right, “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain”.
Photo Credits: The Sports Quotient