Two pitchers riding hot streaks will meet Wednesday when New York Yankees host the Baltimore Orioles in the finale of a three-game series.
New York starter Jameson Taillon (7-4, 4.11 ERA) was unable to complete one inning in Philadelphia on June 12, but he’s been unbeatable since. In his past eight starts, Taillon is 6-0 with a 2.28 ERA.
Baltimore starter Matt Harvey (6-10, 6.20 ERA) has thrown at least six scoreless innings in a career-high three consecutive starts.
Taillon was named American League Pitcher of the Month for July on Monday. He went 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA in five starts, a stretch that saw him allow 20 hits in 31 innings.
“Pitch mix just switched a little bit,” Taillon said. “I started throwing the two-seam a little more, started throwing the curveball harder and more aggressively, started throwing my heater down and away to righties a little more. So, I feel like everything’s kind of played a part. And then once you have one or two good starts and you remember what success feels like, the confidence kind of builds into it and plays into it, too.”
After his rough outing at Philadelphia, Taillon had a 5.74 ERA through his first 12 starts while returning from a second Tommy John surgery.
Since then, he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of eight outings. On Friday, Taillon gave up five hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a 3-1 road win over the Miami Marlins.
“That Philly start where I didn’t get out of the first inning, it kind of opened my eyes to, ‘We’re in June at this point, it’s time for me to put my foot down and get the results,'” Taillon said. “You can’t be strictly about the process all year. The process has to match up with the results at some point.”
Taillon will be making his second career start against Baltimore. His season debut was a no-decision April 7 against the Orioles, when he allowed two runs on three hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Taillon is pitching after the Yankees produced a rare lopsided victory, 13-1 on Tuesday. Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs as the Yankees produced 15 hits and posted their highest run total of the season.
Harvey, meanwhile, stands alongside the Milwaukee Brewers’ Corbin Burnes, the New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom and the St. Louis Cardinals’ Kwang Hyun Kim as the only pitchers in the majors this year to make three straight starts or at least six scoreless innings.
Harvey allowed six hits in 6 1/3 shutout innings Friday at Detroit in a 4-3 win.
“This is great, because it is tough to keep going out there and not getting any results,” Harvey said. “I can’t throw 100 with a 93 mph slider anymore. I have to pitch backward and trust my stuff.”
Before this three-start stretch against the Kansas City Royals, the Washington Nationals and the Tigers, Harvey went 0-9 with a 10.20 ERA in 12 starts from May 7-July 7.
“I’m really happy for him because he’s had to deal with so many physical problems and he still needs treatment between starts,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s got a great slider, he’s pitching ahead in counts, and instead of throwing his fastball 96 down the middle, he’s hitting 93 on the edges.”
Harvey is 2-0 with a 1.60 ERA in five career starts against the Yankees. On April 26 in Baltimore, he allowed one run on three hits in six innings of a 4-2 win.
Harvey will pitch after the Orioles fell to 10-7 since the All-Star break and absorbed their most lopsided loss since a 13-0 defeat against the Houston Astros on June 23.
Ryan Mountcastle’s eighth-inning double accounted for Baltimore’s lone run Tuesday. Cedric Mullins went 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games.
–Field Level Media
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