Matt Harvey's season was over, but then I put on the Mets/Nationals game at around the 6th inning only to be greeted with more lovely news of Noah Syndergaard's unceremonious departure from the game. Whenever Syndergaard leaves a game prematurely now, I think every Mets fan drops into heart attack mode. The game becomes secondary to waiting around for some sort of word about what the story is. It came down later that the issue wasn't elbow-related, but still, fatigue seems like a really vague description and doesn't make anyone feel any better.
The game, by this point, had already been decided, after Syndergaard was touched up for a Clint Robinson Home Run and an RBI double from Daniel Murphy, who continues to fuck things up for the Mets even though he's on another team. The Mets did nothing against Stephen Strasburg, who finally has decided to perform up to his potential, and the whole night had basically become a wash, proving once again that the prior day's momentum really means very little in the grand scheme of things.
After the game, Syndergaard spoke and was throwing around phrases like "my arm feels dead," "It's just that time of year," and "I've thrown a lot of pitches, a lot of innings." Certainly, I wouldn't expect to see him in the All Star Game on Tuesday at all, which I guess is just as well. The more time he can take to rest and regroup, the better, at this point, since there's a lot of season left to be played, and the Mets still have some winning they need to do.
Already, they'll have to do this without Matt Harvey, and even though this is disappointing that his season is finished altogether thanks to this Thoracic Nerve issue, but at least there's some kind of tangible answer to his struggles this season. He never seemed right, and even though he'd gotten some of his luster back over the past month, it was once again beginning to fizzle out. It's a double-edged sword. He could have had some temporary fix but who knows if that would work, and is it all really worth trying to suck it up and continue to pitch lousy when this surgery will likely fix the problem? Sure, I know it's risky. All surgeries are. But as I've kept saying about Harvey, it's not as though he's somehow yakking it on purpose. Nobody wants him to pitch better more than he does himself, and sometimes I feel like I'm on an island defending him but I believe this as fact. It's easy to forget that behind the bluster and the image he's created for himself, he's still human. He gets hurt, he feels insecure and he takes his criticism to heart. I know athletes are supposed to be these cold, unfeeling cyborgs but not everyone is wired that way. It's never been Harvey's strong suit. So I think a lot of him masking whatever issue he'd been going through to this point this season is sort of his way of trying to fix his own problem, and he tried to do this until he couldn't do it any further. It sucks to lose him in the middle of the season. But it's probably better to do this now and come back with a clear head and a rested arm next year rather than fumpher his way through the rest of the season not knowing where the ball is going to end up.