For the second straight time as a LA Angels starter, Matt Harvey left the mound disappointed after giving up a plethora of runs.
For the LA Angels, their offseason wasn’t made up of one big signing, but a handful of impactful ones. The theme amongst these players – Trevor Cahill, Jonathan Lucroy, Cody Allen, and Matt Harvey – was hoping for bounce back seasons. While the outlier here is Cahill, who pitched well in limited time during the 2018 season, each of the others had down years leading up to their arrival in Anaheim.
None more so than Harvey, who after his first start looked ready for his comeback campaign. However, since then, things have gotten worse and worse for The Dark Knight.
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His past issues are well reported, and we’re not going to discuss them here. However, one of the big storylines was how being away from a big city might be a positive for Harvey given his off field problems.
So far into the season, based on a fair amount of metrics, Matt Harvey has been the worst starting pitcher in the MLB. His ERA has shot up to 10.05, and he has allowed hard contact at an alarming rate.
That hard contact is truthfully what is hurting Harvey. His velocity is back to what it was during his ace years, as he was sitting mid-90’s all night on Tuesday. On top of that, he is also inducing a lot of swing-and-misses in his pitches, which is a good sign for future improvement.
It’s just, when batters do make contact with Harvey’s pitches, they go really, really far. And they go there really, really fast. Allowing as much hard contact as Harvey does comes when there’s predictability with his pitches.
That sort of awareness from batters is also why Harvey has struggled to finish off batters when he has two strikes.
Luckily, for Matt Harvey and the Angels, both of these issues can be correctable. First off, although unlikely, there is a chance that Harvey is tipping his pitches. The repercussions of doing that are obvious, and that’s an easy fix if the Angels can find out what he’s doing that opposing teams see.
The more likely outcome of this is that Harvey and pitching coach Doug White, who has shown great results with virtually every other pitcher on the roster, but Harvey is biggest test yet. We know the talent is there with Harvey, but he needs to go all-in on the instructions White gives him if he wants to succeed this season and beyond.
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The early results have been very alarming for Harvey. Given what has happened in his past two starts, one would assume he’s been a complete disaster. However, he has shown the ingredients of successful pitching. He’s not far away from being the dominant pitcher he once was, now he just needs to put the finishing touches on it.