When news first broke about Matt Harvey‘s season-ending (and possibly surgery-requiring) UCL tear, I found myself deeply saddened. This season, despite all of the uproar about performance-enhancing drugs and facetious apologies, has served as a wonderful reminder of how captivating the brilliance of a young pitcher can be. Clayton Kershaw, Jose Fernandez, Chris Sale, and Harvey rank among the very best pitchers in the game this season, and only Kershaw has celebrated his 25th birthday … and he just so happens to have the lowest career ERA of any starting pitcher with over 1000 IP.
But I digress.
The purpose of this post is not simply to lament what we might have lost for the next calendar year, but to remind us how we got here. This is not a matter of the Mets being the Mets, or a young pitcher being abused, or anything of that nature. Rather, this is, to be blunt, a case of “shit happens.” Young pitchers get hurt with great frequency, and there appears to be little that the Mets could have done to prevent this. Harvey has thrown a great deal of pitches, yes – but he ranks 21st in baseball in pitches thrown, behind Kershaw and several other young pitchers. And, yes, Harvey has thrown a career-high 178.1 IP – a total of 9 IP more than he tossed in 2012, between Triple-A and the Majors. If there is any blame to be handed out, it is to whomever failed to give human beings invulnerable ligaments and connective tissues in and around their joints. For now, the best thing to do is to hope Harvey’s recovery goes smoothly, and count down the days until he is toeing the rubber once more.
Or, in the immortal words of Kurt Vonnegut, so it goes.