The third start of the latest – and perhaps final — chance to revive his career was another dark night for Matt Harvey.
The former Mets All-Star was hammered for five runs — and three homers — while recording just four outs in the Kansas City Royals’ 10-1 loss Tuesday to the Cleveland Indians.
Harvey, who was signed as a non-roster free agent in late July, has been tagged for an ERA of 15.43 (12 earned runs in seven innings) over three starts since the Royals activated him Aug. 19.
“It just kind of all fell apart pretty quickly,” Harvey said after Tuesday’s game. “I kind of felt like this past week I had kind of figured some stuff out and was pretty excited about that, pretty excited to go out (Tuesday night) and show that.
“Clearly, it just didn’t happen. I think once I didn’t feel like I did this past week, I think I was searching for that and it really was just kind of a struggle from the beginning.”
Despite lasting a total of 5 2/3 innings in his previous two outings, the 31-year-old Harvey at least had been encouraged by his fastball reaching 94-95 mph. But the righty coughed up homers Tuesday to Francisco Lindor, Franmil Reyes and Roberto Perez and didn’t survive the second inning.
“It’s extremely frustrating for me to let the guys down and to struggle that much and really hurt the bullpen,” Harvey said. “I’m just not doing my job right now at all.”
The Royals, who are 14-22 and last in the AL Central, are currently going with a six-man rotation.
Harvey pitched to a 2.27 ERA and started the All-Star Game in his first full season with the Mets in 2013 – earning the nickname The Dark Knight — before undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing the entire 2014 campaign.
The Connecticut native worked a career-high 189 innings the following year and 27 more in the postseason to help the Mets to a World Series appearance against Kansas City in 2015.
But he was never the same thereafter, requiring thoracic outlet surgery before the end of the 2016 season and earning a suspension in 2017 for failing to show up for a game. In May 2018, the Mets traded Harvey to Cincinnati for catcher Devin Mesoraco.
Since the start of 2016, Harvey has posted a 19-32 record and a 5.72 ERA in 82 games (77 starts), including a 7.09 ERA in 12 starts last season with the Los Angeles Angels.