Matt Harvey's start on Friday night seemed to be bigger than the game itself. The game was important for the Mets—at this point I think they all are, particularly after the news of yet another major ailment affecting yet another key player—but perhaps more important for Harvey given everything that's gone on for him over the past week. I care less about the need for Harvey to repair his name in the public eye. That may be forever ruined just based on his actions, although I still believe all Mets fans want him to do well and as I've mentioned before, he owes fans nothing as far as the idea that he should succeed on their terms rather than his own. But that's the thing. He needs to figure out his own terms. I'm not certain he's done that yet. I, of course, want Harvey to do well so people will shut up, but I need to get over that idea because it probably won't ever happen.
The larger problem is, of course, that it feels less and less likely that it will ever happen just based on what we saw from him last night. While Harvey did manage to shuffle his way through five laborious innings, he was sent out for a 6th in a tie game and came totally undone, as the Brewers raked him for a pair of damaging Home Runs and never looked back on their way to beating the Mets 7-4.
The Brewers seem to be doing better than anyone expected and I'm not totally sure how, given that their roster seems to be comprised of youngsters and castaways that you haven't heard of and won't hear much of again after the end of the month when the Mets finish dealing with them for the season. Harvey was beaten early by a fellow named Jett Bandy, who I'm not entirely convinced wasn't around a few years ago under the assumed name of Jaff Decker, later by Hernan Perez, not to be confused with 16th Century Conquistador Hernan Cortes, and finished off by Bruce Bochte-like Eric Sogard and Orlando Arcia who is too young to be confused with someone else. The Mets didn't exactly back Harvey well, as Neil Walker was the only one who managed to solve Matt Garza and any other offense came after it was far too late.
So, sigh. Redemption did not come for Harvey tonight and really, in a string of really disastrous outings he didn't even seem to show any marked improvement. I still think that he has it in him to get it together and honestly I would like to think it's not simply blind faith and my hope that he'll magically revert to the fucking animal that almost singlehandedly saved the World Series two years ago will actually be rewarded. And it's not enough to say that he wants to do it because I know he wants to do it, he just needs to put the work in to make it happen.