Matt Harvey struggled in Cleveland for the Baltimore Orioles last night. There was plenty of blame to spread around, however everything begins and ends with starting pitching. But Harvey’s numbers probably look worse than how he actually pitched, because as I said there was plenty of blame to spread around. Harvey’s line: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R (5 earned), 2 BB, 2 K.￼
Stevie Wilkerson committed an error in the first inning, causing Harvey to throw more pitches and elongating the inning. That runner would score on Bradley’s run-scoring single. However in the second the Birds would tie the game on MIkel Franco’s RBI-double.
Cleveland would take the lead back in the fourth on an RBI-single by Clement. However Clement would end up at third on a throwing error by Cedric Mullins. Cleveland would proceed to put to four more runs on the board in the inning, taking a 6-1 lead. Trey Mancini’s RBI-single in the fifth and Bradley’s seventh inning homer would round out Cleveland’s 7-2 victory.
One could ask which comes first – the chicken or the egg. Is Harvey more to blame for putting the ball in play, or the defense behind him for the errors once the ball was in play? While yes it begins and ends with starting pitching, we tend to put too much emphasis on that when things go south. Manager Brandon Hyde seemed to look more to the defense behind Harvey after the game:
I thought Matt threw the ball as well as he’s thrown the ball in a long time, probably since the first month for me stuff-wise. I know the velo wasn’t quite as high, but I thought he pitched better. I liked his slider, I thought he threw some good changeups to left-handers. But when you have to get four outs an inning, it makes it really, really challenging.Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports
The series continues tonight at Progressive Field. Keegan Akin gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Cleveland’s Aaron Civale. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.