Why Matt Harvey’s career is the biggest what-if in Mets history

Matt Harvey Jacob deGrom treated

Matt Harvey Jacob deGrom dealt with

Matt Harvey burst on the scene for the Mets in Arizona versus the Diamondbacks on July 26, 2012 as he started an increase that discovered him beginning the All-Star Video game at Citi Field a year later on as he took control of New york city and accepted The Dark Knight name.

As Harvey controlled in 2013, there were the “Harvey’s better” chants at Citi Field as the Mets dealt with Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals, and there was the bloody nose video game versus the Chicago White Sox when Harvey was almost best.

Then, late in the 2013 season, Harvey was thwarted by Tommy John surgical treatment. However his 2nd act was simply as stunning as his very first.

Harvey returned from surgical treatment with a revenge in 2015, which season ended quickly after Harvey strolled off the mound in Video game 5 of the World Series at Citi Field after providing among the very best postseason efficiencies in franchise history.

The method Video game 5 which series versus the Kansas City Royals ended is a substantial what-if. Without Jeurys Familia‘s quick-pitch in Video game 1 and with some much better defense in Video game 4 and Video game 5, it might’ve quickly been the Mets winning in 5 rather of the Royals.

However the most significant what-if is Harvey’s Mets profession.

What would have occurred had he remained healthy after 2015?

It can be argued that it’s the most significant what-if in Mets history.

Nov 1, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey reacts after striking out the side in the fourth inning in game five of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field.

Nov 1, 2015; New York City City, NY, U.S.A.; New york city Mets beginning pitcher Matt Harvey responds after setting out the side in the 4th inning in video game 5 of the World Series versus the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field.

Prior to the screams begin happening Nolan Ryan and David Wright, let’s get this out of the method…

The Mets mistakenly traded Ryan. His profession was not removed. Therefore, he does not certify as a profession what-if the method Harvey does.

As far as Wright, he experienced a lots of success prior to injuries took him down, and he retired a cherished profession Met.

While Wright was possibly on a Hall of Popularity track prior to the injuries began, Harvey was on a possibly all-time fantastic track.

As far as Dwight Gooden and what may have occurred had he not dealt with drug abuse concerns, we’ll regrettably never ever understand. However the electrical power of his 1984 and 1985 seasons was beginning to fade even in 1986.

But Harvey? Here’s what he did during his first three seasons with the Mets as he used a blazing fastball to go along with a lethal slider, changeup, and curve combination:

2.53 ERA (2.65 FIP) and 1.00 WHIP with 449 strikeouts (9.5 per 9) in 427 innings over 65 games.

May 7, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches against the Chicago White Sox with a bloody nose during the first inning of a game at Citi Field.

May 7, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets beginning pitcher Matt Harvey (33) pitches against the Chicago White Sox with a bloody nose during the first inning of a game at Citi Field.

With how strikeout-happy the league has gotten over the last half decade, those strikeout totals don’t jump out. However they’re better than what Jacob deGrom‘s strikeout rate was over the very first 3 years of his career, when he whiffed 9.2 batters per 9.

And it’s the Harvey and deGrom pairing (Harvey is younger than deGrom, by the way) that makes what happened to Harvey so hard to swallow — and makes wondering what would’ve happened had he stayed healthy so tantalizing.

While Harvey and deGrom were teammates for parts of five seasons, only one of those seasons featured a healthy Harvey paired with deGrom.

That one season was 2015, when the Mets nearly won the World Series as Harvey, deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard led a vaunted rotation.

It all came crashing down for Harvey after that, and it wasn’t because he enjoyed the New York City experience too much.

It was because his health betrayed him. Specifically, it was Thoracic Outlet surgery that robbed him of his Hall of Fame stuff and led him down a long, dark road back that he has only recently started to emerge from while remaking himself this season with the Baltimore Orioles.

Apr 20, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Matt Harvey (32) delivers a pitch in the 2nd inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park.

Apr 20, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Matt Harvey (32) delivers a pitch in the 2nd inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park.

And those injuries began right after the 2015 season, when Harvey threw 216 combined innings between the regular season and postseason as he threw innings limits out the window with the Mets on their World Series run.

What would’ve happened in 2016, 2017, and 2018 had Harvey stayed healthy with the Mets forming a deadly top of the rotation with peak Harvey and peak deGrom?

Would Harvey still be a Met today?

Would he be well on his way to Cooperstown?

As Harvey returns to Citi Field this week with the Orioles and prepares to take the mound versus his former team for the very first time, Mets fans should remember the thrills he gave them, should wonder what might have been, and should give him the huge ovation he deserves.

And if Harvey someday finds himself back on the Mets to finish what he began — even if he’s not what he as soon as was — what a last act it would be.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.