For the first time since his last game with the Mets in 2018, Matt Harvey returned to Citi Field on Wednesday to face his former side.
The Orioles pitcher may not have had the best performance of the season, but he will certainly not forget his return to New York for a long time.
Before Harvey took the hill to face the Mets, the former New York ace received a standing ovation from the crowd.
That gesture meant a lot to Harvey, who enjoyed the prime of his career with the Mets and was part of the stacked pitching team that carried the team to the 2015 World Series. Given how quickly his tenure with the Mets ended, he wasn’t sure he would be well received.
“Obviously the last few years have not been the way I wanted,” Harvey told reporters after the game. “Between the injuries and, I think, moving around in my own way and causing some of these problems, I feel for the fans. Maybe I let them down. I think it’s fair to say I would understand if they would. ” [boo me], but I’m glad it went the other way. “
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Not only was Harvey grateful that Mets believers made him feel welcome on his return, but he also admitted that he fought back tears while playing Wednesday afternoon.
“What the fans gave me out there was pretty incredible,” said Harvey. “I held back tears. I won’t lie about them. It was pretty hard to hold them back. It reminded me a lot of the good memories and came off the field with such ovations – it brought a lot back for me. I’ll never forget that.”
It’s easy to see why Harvey valued this so much. He has become a journeyman since leaving the Mets in the 2018 season. Once an all-star pitcher, he has been on five different teams in the past four years and has set a 13-19 record with an ERA of 5.54.
But back in New York, he is reminded of his best days as a pitcher. And Harvey is confident that after a good start to his season in Baltimore, if he gets healthier and healthier, he can continue to hold his own as a solid pitcher.
“I’ve learned from my mistakes,” said Harvey. “Finally being healthy and trying to reinvent myself and get back out of it – it wasn’t easy. But as of today, I think things have gone in the right direction. I’m not going to beat myself up for a bad trip.”