BALTIMORE—When the Orioles signed Matt Harvey as spring training began, they were hoping the veteran right-hander could benefit from the team’s philosophy and perhaps pitch well enough to become a trade chip come July.
Harvey did pitch well enough for the first month of the season, but he’s headed south since.
In his last six starts, including one as an opener last week, Harvey has allowed 31 runs in 19 2/3 innings for a 14.19 ERA. On Wednesday night, Harvey gave up seven runs on eight hits in three innings, the same number of runs and hits he allowed against the Mets in 4 1/3 innings on May 12th in his Citi Field homecoming.
The Orioles’ 14-1 loss to the New York Mets before an announced 9,584 at Oriole Park ended the most successful homestand of the season for the Orioles who won five of eight.
“It was location. Things felt good,” Harvey said. “Mechanically, [I felt] pretty sound. You have to be better than that. I missed my spots in situations where I shouldn’t have. A good offense is going to make you pay, and they did that tonight.”
They Orioles begin a seven-game road trip to Tampa Bay and Cleveland on Friday night with questions about their rotation.
John Means left Saturday’s game because of a strained left shoulder, and he’s on the 10-day injured list. The Orioles need to replace him in the rotation, and now there are concerns about Harvey.
Harvey been blunt about his decline, and he’s not sure what he can do to turn around his season.
‘If I knew right now, I would have done it tonight,” Harvey said. “It’s frustrating. It’s been a couple of years of really being horse [expletive].
“The amount of work I’m putting in between starts, especially with the start tonight. I felt good. I had good stuff. I missed spots. Those are the frustrating ones, where you feel good, and I was throwing 96, 97 mph and you get hit around.
“Those are the tough ones, the ones that I’ve been out of mechanics. There’s a reason for that. I guess an excuse for not pitching well. For tonight, it was, I felt good. I just missed spots and situations where I can’t, and I did, and it cost us the game.”
In the first, Pete Alonso hit his third home run in two games on a slider over the middle of the plate. In both games against the Orioles, Alonso hit a two-run homer in the first inning. The damage could have been worse except that centerfielder Cedric Mullins made a diving catch on leadoff batter Jonathan Villar in left-center.
The Mets (30-24) scored five runs against Harvey (3-7) in the third. James McCann and Billy McKinney had RBI singles, and Kevin Pillar hit a three-run homer, his third of the season for a 7-1 lead.
When Harvey pitched at Citi Field four weeks ago for the first time since he parted ways with the Mets in 2018, he was greeted with a huge ovation from the crowd. Camden Yards was populated with many Mets fans for the two-game series.
“I play for the Orioles,” Harvey said. “I’m not here for Mets fans or anything like that. I appreciate the Orioles fans that were here, and unfortunately I pitched like [expletive].
“I have to be better in front of my home crowd, and I guess I just have to work harder.”
Hyde said the Orioles plan to keep pitching him.
“There’s no talk of taking him out of the rotation,” Hyde said. “We’re going to give him the ball when it’s his turn, and hopefully he can turn this thing around.”
Said Harvey: “I don’t make those decisions. I know I’ve definitely pitched pretty bad the last five, six starts, whatever it’s been. My job is to prepare and to try and get better. Whatever they decide, they decide.
“I’ve obviously been released before or [designated for assignment] or whatnot. I’ve been through the whole situation. There’s really not many in baseball that I haven’t been through. My job is just to prepare and if they give me the ball, then I’m going to do everything between this start and the next one to be better.”
Ryan Mountcastle’s RBI single in the first scored Mullins.
Adam Plutko replaced Harvey in the fourth, and McKinney homered in the fifth for an 8-1 lead.
Rule 5 draft pick Mac Sceroler, who appears overmatched at the major league level, allowed six runs in two innings in his first game since missing eight weeks because of a strained right shoulder.
Pillar and former Oriole Mason Williams hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth.
Villar and Alonso had doubles in the ninth, and McKinney’s three-run home run made it 14-1.
Alonso was 8-for-16 (.500) in four games against the Orioles.
Taijuan Walker (5-2) who limited the Orioles to one run on four hits in seven innings when he last faced Harvey, allowed a run on five hits this time. He retired 13 straight Orioles at one point.
Notes: The 14 runs and six home runs allowed tied a season high. … Harvey hasn’t won in his last seven decisions.
Minor Matters: Triple-A Norfolk scored a season-high eight runs in the fifth in their 9-3 win over the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. Third baseman Domingo Leyba, who was claimed on waivers last week from Arizona, drove in five runs. His grand slam was the big hit in the fifth. Second baseman Ramón Urias also homered. First baseman Tyler Nevin had three hits.
Alexander Wells (3-2) allowed a run on three hits in five innings, striking out five without walking a batter for the win.
Kevin Smith, the left-hander who was obtained in the trade with the Mets for reliever Miguel Castro, allowed two runs, one unearned, in five innings in Double-A Bowie’s 9-1 loss to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Smith (0-1) allowed three hits, struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter. He had his 19 2/3 innings scoreless streak broken, and his ERA is 1.04.
Adley Rutschman played first base and was 2-for-4. His batting average is .296 and his OPS is 1.007.
Connor Gillispie allowed four runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings as High-A Aberdeen lost to Bowling Green, 7-5. Gillispie, who was a ninth-round selection in the 2019 draft, was the first pitcher picked by the team. He’s 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA.
Rightfielder Zach Watson had two hits, including a two-run home run. Adam Hall, who played center field, also had two hits for the IronBirds.
Low-A Delmarva’s game at Lynchburg was suspended in the third inning. The scoreless game will be resumed on Thursday and will be followed by a seven-inning game.