The Orioles and Yankees came into this game with identical disappointing records, tied for last place in the A.L. East. Their 9-12 record was definitely more disappointing for the Yankees, who expect to be good this year. Taking the mound for the Yankees was Deivi Garcia, a rookie born in 1999. For the Orioles was grizzled vet Matt Harvey, who is just trying to prove he still belongs.
For tonight anyway, Harvey prevailed. He completed six innings with just one run allowed and got all the offensive support he needed from rising star Cedric Mullins. The Orioles took this game by a score of 4-2, officially kicking the Yankees to sole possession of last place.
The Matt Harvey Redemption Tour
For the first time since July 18, 2019, Matt Harvey completed six innings in a major league ballgame. Back then, however, Harvey gave up six runs in his six innings and walked five. Tonight was a very different story.
Despite being squeezed nearly constantly by umpire Will Little, Harvey appeared in control for most of his six innings. He started off with the tiniest bit of shakiness, with a walk in the first inning, and a walk and a single in the second. But then you could say he settled in, but that would be an understatement
With two runners on in the top of the second inning and one one, Aaron Hicks hit a fly ball to DJ Stewart in right field. Starting with that out, Harvey retired the next 11 batters he faced. That took him through the end of the fifth inning looking completely in control and having thrown only 71 pitches. He looked in good position to conquer his great white whale: the sixth inning.
Through three innings tonight, the Dark Knight is really cruising in the Baltmobile— Camden Chat (@CamdenChat) April 26, 2021
The tricky part of the sixth inning is that it meant Harvey would be facing the Yankee lineup for the third time of the night. The Yankees aren’t having the greatest go of things right now, but their lineup isn’t exactly full of jabronis. At least, not when it comes to hitting. So it would be a test for Harvey for sure.
First up was number nine hitter, Clint Frazier. Harvey walked him on five pitches, ending his streak at 11 and setting the table for the top of the order. Not great, Matt! But before you could get too worried, DJ LeMahieu grounded into a double play on the very first pitch. Yes! The only thing standing between Matt Harvey and six innings pitched was, gulp, Giancarlo Stanton.
Stanton absolutely crushed a ball to left field for a double. It left the bat at 115 mph, the hardest hit ball of the night. He then went 0-2 on Aaron Judge and just as I could imagine Harvey getting out unscathed, Judge went ahead and hit the second-hardest hit ball of the night (111.8 mph), also for a double. Stanton scored, make the score at the time 2-1.
Next up was Rougned Odor, and Harvey finally prevailed. A fly ball out to Austin Hays locked down Matt Harvey’s best start in years. His final pitching line was 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K. He threw 84 pitches, 51 for strikes.
Cedric for MVP
Providing the offensive support to Matt Harvey’s start tonight was Cedric Mullins. He continued his absolutely blistering start to the 2021 season in his very first at bat when he launched a ball to freaking Eutaw Street! Is there anything Mullins can’t do? The ball landed 406 feet away and gave the Orioles an early 1-0 lead.
The O’s doubled their lead in the very next inning when Freddy Galvis doubled in Pedro Severino. Unfortunately for the Orioles, Galvis injured himself and had to come out of the game. Galvis had just started turning things around at the plate; hopefully he won’t be out too long. He was replaced in the lineup by Rio Ruiz.
Mullins also led off the fifth inning and doubled to right field, but the Orioles stranded him. So in his next at-bat, in the seventh inning, Mullins re-took things into his own hands. This time he launched a home run to straight away center field! That one went even further than his first, 418 feet. That made the score 4-1 in favor of the Orioles.
The other O’s run of the game didn’t score courtesy of Mullins, but rather thanks to former Oriole (and secret double agent?) Darren O’Day. O’Day started the sixth inning by hitting Austin Hays, then a textbook hit and run by Hays and Severino put runners on the corners. One out later, O’Day balked in a run. I knew he still liked us.
Mullins finished the games with three hits while Severino picked up two. No other Orioles had a multi-hit game.
More like Tanner ScoBB, am I right?
After Harvey departed from the game, Travis Lakins pitched a scoreless seventh before manager Brandon Hyde turned to Tanner Scott to pitch the eighth. A 4-1 lead isn’t huge, but it’s comfortable enough as long as your pitcher doesn’t start walking every batter in sight. That’s what Scott did, by the way.
First, he walked Frazier. Then he walked LeMahieu. That brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Stanton. Scott went 1-0 on him before he finally put another pitch into the strike zone, this one right down the middle. Stanton JUST missed hitting a monster dong. He got under the pitch and hit a ball very high into the air that landed in Hays’s glove in left field.
Well, Tanner wasn’t going to let that happen again! He walked the next batter, Judge, to load the bases. The new MLB rule is that relief pitchers have to face three batters. So Scott had to face Frazier, LeMahieu, and Stanton. Why he was left in to face Judge was a mystery to me. And then, why he was left in to face the next batter, Rougned Odor, was infuriating to me.
But it worked! Odor saw exactly one pitch in the strike zone, but that didn’t stop him from swinging wildly at a bunch of pitches outside it to strike out for the second out of the game.
With that, Scott’s night was mercifully over. He was replaced by César Valdez. Valdez had some trouble at the start, giving up a single to Gio Urshela. Frazier scored, and it looked like LeMahieu scored, but then Judge blundered his way to the third out at third base, getting gunned down by Hays.
There was some kerfuffle immediately following the play as the umpires actually said Judge was out before LeMahieu crossed home plate, making the score 4-2 in favor of the Orioles. Yankee manager Aaron Boone tried to challenge but was told he was too late, and he was tossed from the game while arguing.
Ultimately it didn’t matter, though, because Valdez came back out for the ninth inning and easily retired the side in order.
O’s win, 4-2! The same teams are back at it tomorrow, game time is 7:05 pm. See you there!
Who was the Most Birdland Player for Monday, April 26th?
This poll is closed
Cedric Mullins (two home runs that went a combined 824 feet, plus a double)
Matt Harvey (finally made it six innings - 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K)