Former Mets’ pitcher Matt Harvey was emotional after standing ovation at Citi Field: ‘I was holding back tears’

Wednesday marked the first time pitcher Matt Harvey pitched in front of New York Mets’ fans at Citi Field since he was traded to Cincinnati in 2018. He had ups and downs during his career in Flushing, and his fair share of incidents, too, but he was a key cog in the 2015 World Series run and fans don’t forget those things.

The Mets ended up winning the game, and Harvey wasn’t particularly sharp on the mound. But the fans cheered him before the first pitch and gave him a standing ovation. Talking to the press after the game, he thanked the fans in attendance.

“There was a lot of excitement, a lot of memories,” Harvey said, per SNY. “Obviously there’s been so many ups and downs here at this ballpark and with this organization, I really didn’t know what to expect. What the fans gave me out there was pretty incredible. I was holding back tears. I’m not going to lie about that, it was pretty hard holding them back. Reminded me of a lot of the good memories, and coming off the field with an ovation like that, it brought a lot back and it was very special to me. Something I’ll never forget.”

The fact remains that Harvey was a very important contributor for the Mets in the first half of the 2010s. Injuries have taken their toll, sure, but he is now trying to revive his career with the Baltimore Orioles and is not doing so badly.

The Mets won, but Harvey appreciated fans welcoming him back

Sure, yesterday’s performance, in which he allowed seven earned runs to the Mets in 4.1 frames, increased his ERA significantly, but he was in the high-3s before the game.

“Obviously I wish things went differently, I wish the score was flip-flopped,” Harvey said. “My job is to go out and keep runs off the board, and obviously I didn’t do that regardless of who we were playing and the situation. It was a rough one. I felt like I made some decent pitches and they were tough, they made me work, they hit the ball the other way well. They kind of went against the scouting report that I had used from the last previous games or in the last week, week and a half. They hit the ball where we weren’t and made me work.”

In 2015, Harvey was a true ace for the Mets, going 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA and 2-0 with a 3.04 in the postseason.

“Yeah it was hard, this is a very special place to me,” Harvey said. “I’d like to say I gave everything I had here. Especially in that 2015 run, it was really something special and I left it all out there for everybody, for the fans, for our teammates. That was a big year for us as a team and the city of New York. Those memories definitely came in when I got some cheers and got the standing ovation. Like I said, it was absolutely incredible.”

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