Matt Harvey, affectionately known as The Dark Knight around New York, is the ace of the Mets’ pitching staff. He’s going through a tough stretch as of late, but he’s still the ace and one of the faces of the franchise. With that, he is able to enjoy being on the cover of Sports Illustrated, being featured by ESPN The Magazine and reaping all other benefits of being a superstar in the city made for superstars. With those benefits comes the other side of the coin – accountability. If this tweet from Anthony DiComo of MLB.com is any evidence, it appears Harvey experienced a lapse in that department on Tuesday night.
Matt Harvey bolted the stadium immediately after the game tonight. Didn’t stick around. He won’t be discussing his start. #Mets
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 25, 2016
Harvey and his recent struggles
Harvey is 3-7 and his last few starts haven’t been kind to him. On Tuesday against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals, he was chased after five innings in a 7-4 loss. His previous start on May 19, also against Strasburg the Nats, ended before three innings and nine runs allowed in a 9-1 blowout.
The truth is that these things happen, plain and simple. The Nationals are 28-18 and have a potent lineup. Even the best pitchers get taken to the woodshed by good lineups from time to time, even when the opposing pitcher isn’t a Cy Young Award contender. Harvey is a competitor, a fact not lost on his teammates and coaching staff. Following his May 19 start against Washington, Terry Collins apparently considered skipping Harvey’s next start.
“We got as in-depth as you possibly can get. We dissected every angle there was,” Collins told the Associated Press. “And in the end, knowing this guy like we do, he wants to pitch. He wants to fight through it. He isn’t going to run and hide. He wants to get out there.”
He could have skipped a start and nobody would’ve blamed him, but he chose otherwise. He chose to pitch and try to help his team against a tough division rival. This is exactly why it was so surprising, and disappointing, that he chose to duck the media following the bad outing.
Harvey has an obligation to talk to the media. By not honoring that obligation, be selfishly puts the burden on his teammates and coaches to answer questions that he himself should be around to answer. It’s one thing to fill a reporter’s recorder with sound bites after throwing seven scoreless, but running and hiding after a bad outing in inexcusable. If his teammates were out there battling for nine innings, sticking around for the media is the least he could do.
Members of the media are sometimes seen by athletes as invasive or annoying, but they are at the ballpark doing their jobs just like the players. Harvey, like it or not, owes it to them to answer a few questions about his outing.
Hopefully this will be a learning experience for the Mets’ ace. Maybe he turns it around and becomes the pitcher that garnered the moniker of Bruce Wayne’s alter ego. Even if that does happen, it will make it more difficult for Scott Boras to negotiate a monster contract for his client come free agency if he cannot handle a few negative questions.
At risk of crossing Marvel and DC boundaries, Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben said it best – “With great power comes great responsibility.”