How Mets fans should view Matt Harvey’s return to Citi Field

If Brandon Hyde doesn’t fairly qualify for “grizzled baseball man” standing, then the Orioles’ supervisor, 47, has seen and executed sufficient stuff to earn a perspective. To benefit respect for his recollections of Oct. 17, 2015 right here at Citi Field.

“I just remember when Matt came out of the bullpen before first pitch, and … they had the Dark Knight thing going, and the whole crowd just went bananas,” Hyde, then the Cubs’ first-base coach, stated Tuesday afternoon earlier than the Mets’ 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Orioles. “It was about 30 levels. Probably one of many loudest stadiums I’ve ever heard at that second, simply how loud they had been when he was exiting the bullpen to come to the dugout to throw the primary pitch.

“He’s had a lot of cool moments here, and that was fun to witness. He pitched really well against us that night.”

You know that Hyde is referring to Matt Harvey, now pitching for him in an Orioles uniform, who will mark a profession first on Wednesday: First time pitching at Citi as an opponent.

At one level, you’ll’ve forecast that to happen throughout a Subway Series, with Harvey performing for his childhood-favorite Yankees and accumulating a Gerrit Cole-esque $1.125 million or so per begin. That level, nevertheless, occurred a very long time in the past. Harvey has been an ex-Met for over three years and is working for his fifth group; a kind of, the A’s in 2019, by no means even promoted him to the large leagues.

Matt Harvey
Matt Harvey
Getty Images

Yet when the previous superhero takes the mound Wednesday, absolutely to a boisterous partial viewers, right here’s hoping that Mets fans don’t have a look at him and ponder what may have been. Instead, they should admire what that they had.

“It’s got to be exciting for him to be back here and pitch,” stated Luis Rojas, who managed Harvey for 2 rehabilitation begins at Double-A Binghamton in 2017.

Said Hyde: “Matt’s so even-keeled and level-headed that it’s hard to tell how up or down he is, ever. He’s just professional. I know he’s looking forward to it, though.”

“Even-keeled” wouldn’t apply to Harvey from 2015, though he has been by means of so much since then. With the Orioles, he owns a 3.60 ERA in seven begins, tallying 10 walks and 25 strikeouts over 35 innings and neutralizing that modest bat-missing whole by holding the ball within the yard, with solely three homers on his ledger. That displays a returned reliance on his sinker, which he barely threw the prior two seasons. Said Hyde: “It’s been a nice weapon for him.”

His four-seam fastball averages 93.3 miles per hour, a large drop from the 95.9 he averaged in ’15 (thanks, Baseball Savant and FanGraphs). His peak lasted primarily three seasons: His rookie marketing campaign in 2012, his ferocious 2013 earlier than he went down in August needing Tommy John surgical procedure and his triumphant return in 2015, culminating in that unbelievable begin within the NLCS opener (two runs, 4 hits, two walks and 9 strikeouts in 7 ²/₃ innings) earlier than his memorable incapacity to end off the Royals in World Series Game 5 marked the de facto finish to his dominant run. The severe accidents ensued, which rendered the off-the-field hijinks much less tolerable.

Hey, given how poorly Harvey has pitched since leaving the Mets, a 5.38 ERA in 234 ¹/₃ innings, it’s a triumph simply to make it again right here. To draw the ovation from those that will thank him for Harvey Day and the playoff success and possibly even the Page Six tales. If his peak didn’t final lengthy, he by no means bored us.

“It’s been all positives so far,” Hyde stated of Harvey’s time with the O’s. His Mets time proved extra of a curler coaster, the thrills and the plummets all unforgettable. You’ll get to relive the entire journey for a second Wednesday. Surely you received’t remorse any of it.

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