Matt Harvey on returning to New York to face Mets: 'I was holding back tears'

It's been three seasons since Matt Harvey pitched a game in New York. Harvey — who came up with the Mets and led the team to the World Series in 2015 — had an unceremonious end in the city, and has spent the last three years bouncing around to different teams hoping to recapture his former greatness.

Harvey has pitched in 26 games since 2019, but none have come against his former team. That changed Wednesday, when Harvey — who is now with the Baltimore Orioles — started against the Mets in New York. 

Mets fans made sure to give Harvey a warm welcome his first time back at Citi Field.

Matt Harvey: "I didn't really know what to expect, and what the fans gave me here was pretty incredible. I'm not going to lie: I was holding back tears…. It was something I'll never forget."

— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) May 12, 2021

Harvey went into even more detail, saying being in New York brought back good memories.

I can't remember the last time Matt Harvey was like this in an interview — poignant, reflective, honest, raw. It's clear returning to Citi Field really meant something to him, as did the fact that the fans here received him warmly.

— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 12, 2021

He also reflected on his last couple seasons with the Mets, saying things didn't go how he would have liked. He blamed both himself and injuries for his struggles, and said he wasn't sure if Mets fans would hold those things against him. They didn't, and Harvey was appreciative.

Matt Harvey struggles in first start against Mets

Near the end of his statement, Harvey said he feels good about his numbers this season. Prior to Wednesday's game, Harvey had a 3.60 ERA over 35 innings with the Orioles. 

That number went up during Wednesday's start. Harvey struggled against his old team, giving up seven earned runs over 4 1/3 innings. The Orioles lost the contest 7-1, handing Harvey the loss. Harvey's ERA jumped to 4.81 with the performance. 

Despite those struggles, Harvey said he's encouraged by his progress this season. While a 4.81 ERA isn't close to elite, it would represent the lowest ERA Harvey has posted since 2015.

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