Matt Harvey greeted with warm welcome in post-DFA return to Citi Field

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Matt Harvey returned to Citi Field Monday for the first time since being traded by the Mets. (AP Photo)
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Matt Harvey returned to Citi Field Monday for the first time since being traded by the Mets. (AP Photo)

Former Mets pitcher Matt Harvey’s fall from grace with the team was swift and somewhat shocking, coming to an abrupt conclusion on May 5th, when Harvey declined a minor league option and was designated for assignment.

Harvey had a breakout season in 2013, posting a 2.27 ERA and 191 strikeouts over 178 innings. He started that year’s the All-Star Game in front of the home crowd at Citi Field, and looked poised to do great things for the franchise.

However, that position was short-lived, as he tore his UCL in August 2013, underwent Tommy John surgery in October, and missed the entirely of the 2014 season. In his 2015 return, Harvey put up a 13-8 record with a 2.71 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 189 innings as the Mets won the National League pennant.

But more injury woes struck in 2016, ending his campaign early, and yet more injury and behavior issues shortened his 2017 run.

Harvey started four games in 2018 before being sent to the bullpen, putting up an 0-2 record with a 7.00 ERA. He was traded to the Cincinnati Reds on May 8, and his numbers have since evened-out slightly, posting a 4.79 ERA with the new club.

Harvey returns to where it all began

Monday, the Reds headed to Citi Field for the first time since the trade, with Harvey’s reception looming as an unknown. Things got off to a rocky start when he scheduled a press conference Sunday at exactly the time the Mets requested he not, but that was later brushed off.

By all other accounts, Harvey’s presence has been received positively – with a touch of nostalgia.

The Mets pulled a classy move pre-game Monday, airing a tribute video to Harvey’s time with the team.

Fans reacted to the video warmly.

Harvey was also open with the media pregame about the emotional experience of getting DFA’d by the team that first drafted him over a decade ago.

And of course, the return would not be complete without a little shade from the Dark Knight himself.

It’s good everyone is laughing about the situation now, because four months ago, they sure weren’t.

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