Former Mets pitcher Matt Harvey retires after 9 seasons in MLB

Matt Harvey pitched for the Mets, Reds, Angels, Royals and Orioles in his nine MLB seasons. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Matt Harvey pitched for the Mets, Reds, Angels, Royals and Orioles in his nine MLB seasons. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Dark Knight is finished with baseball.

Former MLB pitcher Matt Harvey officially announced his retirement Friday with a long Instagram carousel post. He pitched for five teams over nine seasons from 2012 to '21, most notably for the New York Mets in the first six years of his career. Harvey, 34, was an All-Star in 2013 and helped the Mets reach the World Series in 2015.

Harvey's farewell message mostly reflected his time in New York. He specifically mentioned a game on April 19, 2013, when Mets fans chanted "Harvey's Better" at Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg at Citi Field.

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"That day will forever stay in my dreams," Harvey wrote. "I know I pitched well and we were on our way to a win, and as I'm sitting in the dugout, all I hear is the chants overtaking Citi Field. ... Even with aspirations to be great, or even the best, a moment like that hits your soul. It was a moment of success. I never wanted it to end.

"To the fans, most importantly the NY Mets fans: you made a dream come true for me," he wrote. "A dream I never could have thought to be true. Who would have thought a kid from Mystic, CT would be able to play in the greatest city in the world, his hometown. You are forever embedded in my heart.

"Goodbye, Baseball. And thank you."

The Dark Knight's rise and fall

Harvey pitched 966 1/3 total innings over his nine seasons and finished with a career ERA of 4.42. His best season was his All-Star campaign in 2013, when he posted a 2.27 ERA in 26 starts, finishing fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting. He led the league with a 2.01 FIP that season and struck out 191 batters in 178 1/3 innings.

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Harvey started Game 1 of the 2015 World Series against the Kansas City Royals, giving up three runs in six innings in a narrow Mets loss. He pitched eight scoreless innings in the series-deciding Game 5 but played a pivotal role in the Mets' eventual loss to the Royals when he persuaded Mets manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen to let him stay in the game.

He later said he regretted that decision.

“It was raw emotion," Harvey told the New York Post in March. "The only thing I thought of was to bring a championship home and keep it going. I got fired up; the crowd got fired up. One of those emotional things that’s tough to [harness] when you’re cruising. It was an emotional game. It was hard to say no. Now at my age I probably wouldn’t have caused an emotional scene. As a more mature self, I would have handled things differently.”

Harvey pitched fewer than 93 innings in each of the next two seasons after he underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in 2016.

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The Mets traded Harvey to the Cincinnati Reds in 2018, and he played for a new club every year until he was suspended for 60 games in 2022 for admitting to taking pills with then-Los Angeles Angels teammate Tyler Skaggs. Harvey testified in federal court in the case of former Angels communications director Eric Kay, who was sentenced to 22 years in prison in connection with the overdose death of Skaggs in 2019.

Harvey was a free agent in 2022 but didn't sign with a club. He last pitched for Team Italy in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, in which he made two starts with a 1.29 ERA.