For New York Mets starting pitcher, and the man most used to call The Dark Knight, Matt Harvey, tonight in D.C. is bigger than last October.

  • New York Mets (26-18)
  • Washington Nationals (27-18)
  • Today, 7:05 PM on MASN, SNY
  • Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., District of Columbia

Of course Tuesday night in Washington D.C. isn’t a more impactful game for the New York Mets than any we witnessed last October.

To think it is would be patently ridiculous.

When it comes to the man formerly (to some people) known as The Dark Knight, however, Game 2 of Round 2 against the Washington Nationals means everything.

For Matt Harvey, his livelihood has been attacked. His reputation, tarnished. Tonight is his chance to take some of it back.

It has very little to do with just one game, or one outing. Sure, Harvey could reel off a dandy of a start at any moment and have it mean very little over the course of a 30-plus start campaign.

The reason tonight is so big, is because the organization once again conceded to his demands.

How about Game 5 of the 2015 World Series? Rolling through eight brilliant shutout innings, Harvey had Citi Field rocking like it never had prior. Holding a slim 2-0 lead heading into ninth inning, manager Terry Collins was faced with his first truly gut-wrenching moment as skipper in New York.

Does he take out The Dark Knight, the guy who the entire building rallied behind all evening? Or, does Collins go to old faithful, closer Jeurys Familia?

Obviously, we know Harvey was sent back out to the mound and promptly allowed the first two runners to reach base. It ultimately costed the Mets the game.

Harvey simply did not get the job done in a spot he needed to close emphatically.

The true travesty for Harvey and the Mets was that their guy, their ace (arguably), the face that marked the turnaround for a franchise, begged his way back onto the mound in that ninth-inning.

The man got his wish, yet the man did not deliver.

Now, after the worst start of his career (leaving last week’s 9-1 game against the Nats in the third inning), Matt Harvey, once again, made a demand.

He wanted the ball.

The Mets? Well, they conceded.

They conceded even though much discussion was made about throwing Harvey on the DL and having him take a step back and throw at least one night in the minors.

Taking his lumpy 5.77 ERA and 1.65 WHIP into tonight’s start is just the cherry on top of the importance of this outing. The base of the cake is Harvey needing to make good on his demands. Should he not come through, these demands will start to fall on deaf ears.

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Forget mechanics. Whatever Harvey’s problem is, he’ll eventually need to figure out. Tonight will be about battling. Because of his most recent demand to the Mets organization, he will need to battle more than he’s ever battled before.

Harvey will need to fight through a less than stellar slider or imitate what Jacob deGrom did twice in last season’s NLDS in Los Angeles.

It’s the only way Harvey will still be on firm footing with the Mets. If he doesn’t battle and make good tonight, those demands that he always practices won’t be heard any longer.

That’s why tonight is so important.

NEXT: Lucas Duda’s Injury Could Create New York Mets Best Everyday Lineup


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Founder of Elite Sports NY---Content of Jets, Knicks, Giants, Rangers, Yankees, Mets, Giants---Former strong safety, point guard, and 400-meter hustler. Born as a New York sports fan, something that'll never be shaken. (Jets, Rangers, Knicks, Yankees). Remembers Matteau, the Dunk, the Yankees on MSG, Mr. Conn Smythe Leetch, and Chrebet's fearless ways. E-Mail: [email protected]