New York Mets fans had been in a Gotham-like unrest for weeks, waiting for the city’s hero to return and take down their enemies. Though Matt Harvey had several times showed up to combat opposing forces, on Tuesday night he returned to form as the Dark Knight and carried the New York Mets to victory against the surging Toronto Blue Jays.
Following a four-start rough patch during which Harvey saw his ERA jump from 1.98 to 3.62, Harvey channeled his inner superhero and pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and no walks while striking out six to complete the Mets’ two game home sweep of the Jays.
For almost a month Mets officials and MLB aficionados tried to provide reasoning for Harvey’s struggles.
After allowing seven runs on May 23rd, Terry Collins claimed that Matt may have been dealing with a “dead-arm,” or arm fatigue, which largely set up the short lived six man rotation. And after another seven run meltdown on June 10th, reporters began alluding to Adam Wainwright’s post-Tommy John struggles, though Harvey adamantly denied that his weak performances were related to the surgery.
Harvey hopes to have stifled these hypotheses and rationales with his dominant performance Tuesday, as he looked nothing short of his 2013 All-Star self. He recorded ten outs using his change-up, the most he’s recorded in any major league start, and his fastball was at full force, regularly clocking 98 MPH.
The Mets improved to 36-30 with Harvey’s victory, and now sit 1.5 games ahead of the Washington Nationals for the NL East lead. As the team’s ace, Harvey will be absolutely imperative to the club’s success in maintaining the division lead, and Tuesday’s start was full of promise that he’s exactly the ace he’s proven to be.
Tommy John surgery is a major procedure that can make or break a pitcher’s career, but at age 26 and tenacious as ever, Harvey has put both the surgery and his struggles in the past, and you can bet that the Dark Knight has no plans of moving anywhere but forward.