The Baltimore Orioles announcement that Matt Harvey was to be their second starter seemed to be an indictment on the state of their rotation. Harvey had been a disaster since undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, making it questionable as to whether or not he would ever find success again. But for a team such as the Orioles, it was a gamble worth taking.
On Saturday, Harvey gave hope that the Orioles lottery ticket could pay off. He allowed just two runs on six hits and a walk over his 4.2 innings, striking out four batters.
Baltimore Orioles given hope by Matt Harvey
That stat line does not exactly tell the entire story with Harvey’s outing. He had pitched well over his first three innings, allowing just two hits while striking out three batters. For those innings, Harvey may not have been the vintage Dark Knight, but he was a reasonable facsimile.
He eventually ran into trouble, allowing a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly in the fourth as Boston got on the board. Harvey then allowed two more hits and a walk in the fifth, with an infield single driving in the second Red Sox run with two out. That was all for Harvey as Adam Plutko came in to get out of the inning.
Both Harvey and the Orioles have to be encouraged by his outing. He threw 86 pitches, 52 for strikes. Although he had only five swinging strikes during the game, Harvey kept the Red Sox off balance before he began to tire in the fifth inning.
Yes, it is one game. And these are not the Red Sox of recent memory, as the lineup is not the same as it had been. But for the Orioles and Harvey, any success is notable. As Harvey had combined for a 7.82 ERA and a 1.738 WHiP in his 71.1 innings over the past two years, his performance today has to be a confidence boost.
The Baltimore Orioles have reason for optimism with Matt Harvey after his outing on Saturday. Maybe, just maybe, Harvey has a comeback in him.