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Matt Harvey at the Center of Another Dark Knight for Yankees

Harvey, the owner of a 6.04 ERA since 2017, held the Yankees to one run over six innings on Monday night.

The Yankees couldn’t kill hit the Batman on Monday night.

Fresh off a power surge in Cleveland, New York looked poised to remain hot at the plate with a helping of Orioles pitching at Camden Yards on-deck. Matt Harvey should have fit into those plans perfectly.

Instead, the Baltimore starter delivered his best outing in nearly two years, limiting the Yankees to one run and three hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out five. 

It wasn’t quite a vintage callback to Harvey’s time dominating on the other side of Gotham, but the 32-year-old got the win in the 4-2 O’s victory.

"That's probably the best I've felt in a couple years. Everything was working well,” Harvey said, per WNST, though he hung a bunch of sliders. “I was able to throw strikes when I needed to, and guys made plays behind me. It was a good team effort."

The Yankees’ lone run off Harvey came on an Aaron Judge double in the top of the sixth inning. He completed the frame, though, the first time Harvey has gone six innings since July 18, 2019, and his first time doing so in an effective manner since April 28 of that same year. His start before that was his last against the Yankees, another strong outing. 

He hasn’t had much else to write home about since then.

Harvey had yet to surpass five innings in 2021 before he stifled the Yankees. He entered Monday’s contest with a 5.12 ERA on the year and a 6.04 mark since 2017. He is far removed—both in terms of time and talent—from the pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Mets in 2012, but he still managed to retire 11 straight Yankees at one point in the game.

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“He made some good pitches behind in the count,” Aaron Boone said. “He pitched to both sides of the plate with [his sinker]. He kept us off-balance enough with some secondary [pitches]. But for the most part it looked like he probably located his sinker and his fastball pretty well.”

“I thought his stuff was pretty good,” added DJ LeMahieu.

New York managed to tack on another run after Harvey’s departure. There was also a controversial call in the eighth, one that wiped out a third Yankees run when Aaron Judge made the final out of the inning at third base. The play resulted in Boone’s ejection, but the manager ultimately believed the umps made the right call.

Baserunning Blunder, Balk Doom Yankees in Baltimore

The Yankees had plenty of chances before that, though. They left six runners on and went 2-7 with runners in scoring position. At the center of their struggles was their inability to knock Harvey around, and Cedric Mullins’ bat. That failure resulted in New York retaking sole possession of last place in the AL East, if only for a day.

“We had some chances,” Boone said. “I thought throughout the game and up and down the lineup we got ourselves into some pretty good counts offensively, especially against Harvey. There were some chances where we were 2-0, 3-1, had some leverage and some counts and just couldn’t really mount that much against him.”


Follow Gary Phillips on Twitter (@GaryHPhillips). Be sure to bookmark Inside The Pinstripes and check back daily for news, analysis and more.