New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey will once again find himself on the mound facing all the pressure in the world in Game 3.

By Robby Sabo

1authorrob3 - New York Mets' Matt Harvey Finds Himself With Pressure, The Way He Loves ItVery seldom do professional athletes come around like this. Instead of the average guy who’d rather face the pressure once a lifetime or whenever called upon, every now and again we see ourselves staring face-to-face with a unique character.

New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey is that unique character.

Such a character, in fact, his entire existence in New York revolves around a superhero (The Dark Knight). He’s the guy who creates drama. The guy who’s always in the headlines. The guy, who has already almost wore out his welcome (in a split second) due to one character defining number of 180.

He’s also the guy who thrives in the moment.

Say what you want about Matt Harvey, he lives for pressure. He’s the prospect who was brought up through the system, wanting to be the guy all along. Matt Harvey wanted to be the Mets next Tom Seaver.

Just when you think Harvey was going to take the ball from Terry Collins in Game 3 with his club up 2-0, the drama gets ratcheted up to a ridiculous degree. Chase Utley breaks the leg of Ruben Tejada and the Mets are even at one game apiece with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It’s uncanny how Harvey continuously finds himself in these very tricky, sticky situations.

Harvey has already once drilled Utley this season. It was a clear indication of his bulldog status on the mound. The plunking came back in in April when Utley was still in Philadelphia and Phillies starter David Buchanan had already nailed two Mets.

We all understand he’s not afraid to get the dirty work done. But that’s hardly the point here.

Utley might not even play. Even appealing his two-game suspension handed down by Joe Torre and MLB, the question remains on whether Don Mattingly will insert the gritty second baseman into the lineup at all.

Just try to think of Harvey’s drama filled short career in Floushing.

Perhaps this is just Harvey’s way though. He must seek and receive the attention so he can quickly turn around and shut us up.

After he took the baseball world by storm in 2013, he couldn’t stay out of the headlines during and after surgery. Whether it was giving the camera the middle finger on social media prior to surgery; dating supermodels and attending New York Rangers playoff games; or missing mandatory workouts to begin the playoffs; the guy’s knack for staying in our minds and hearts is on the expert level.

It just was a month ago that the 180-inning controversy got started by his agent, Scott Boras. Instead of angrily denying what his agent (his employee) said, he danced around it, forcing all of us to question whether he’s who we thought he was.

Suddenly, the face of the franchise who we all thought was the most fiery competitor in this town since Derek Jeter, had betrayed our confidence. Jacob deGrom continued to struggle down the stretch and Harvey provided us with anxiety not even Dr. Phil could help mend.

Perhaps this is just Harvey’s way though. He must seek and receive the attention so he can quickly turn around and shut us up.

After the 180-inning controversy came down (and after a miserable start against the Washington Nationals), he proceeded to only surrender two runs in his last three starts. This included a masterful five-inning showing in Game 3 of the Subway Series against the Yankees.

The Utley-Harvey thing will sort itself out one way or another. We know that. The more important aspect is that Harvey is on the mound in the game he wants to be on the mound.

Mets fans need not worry about the 180-inning max. While Harvey did make an incredible mistake going along with the controversy as it happened, remember that this is a different guy. Sure, he does love the drama. In fact, he brings it on himself unnecessarily. He also loves the big stage.

What bigger stage is there than tonight: The first Mets home playoff game in nine seasons. The first playoff game in Citi Field. And the game for which Mets fans smell blood as it pertains to Chase Utley.

This is Matt Harvey’s night, and he loves every bit of it.

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Founder of Elite Sports NY — Formerly of FanSided — Jets, Rangers, Knicks, Yankees, Mets, Giants — Has interviewed the likes of Rob Dyrdek, Michael Waltrip and Dominique Wilkins and has seen his work shared on major publications such as Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, and Yardbarker.

Born as a New York Sports Fan, something unexplainable in his blood that’ll never be shaken. Remembers the Kevin Maas days, the Yankees on MSG, the Bruce Coslet era, and the Spring of ’94.

E-Mail: robsabo10@elitesportsny.com