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Matt Harvey walks the tightrope, Albert Pujols razzle-dazzles in Angels circus win

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Halos continue to take care of business in Baltimore.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles
Bang!
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Angels 7, Orioles 2

Saturday wasn’t Matt Harvey’s day. The fastballs weren’t locating, the breaking balls weren’t breaking, and against a marginally better lineup, this game might have been out of reach much earlier. It wasn’t. It was the Orioles.

And sometimes, you need the breaks to get you going. Harvey had misfits from the first batter of the game, and when Jonathan Villar doubled and Dwight Smith Jr. homered, you got the sense that it would be one of those runaway starts, where the horse leaves the barn and runs around wildly despite your best efforts to hang onto the rope.

The fact that he managed to rack up six strikeouts, a season’s best, said more about the Orioles than it did about Harvey. But Harvey was the one who took the baseball and tossed it up there to the plate, ninety-three times on Saturday, keeping the team in the ballgame until the offense came alive.

Harvey labored once again in the second, allowing a hit, walk, and wild pitch, waiting as an inning-ending double play was overturned on replay, before he thankfully induced Villar to ground out. The third was much of the same. Two singles, two strikeouts, and then a walk to Chris Davis, and the bases were loaded with two outs. Luke Bard was ready in the bullpen, but Brad Ausmus chose to stick with Harvey after pulling him one week earlier in a similar situation. The Orioles, of course, are not the Astros. But after what seemed like hours of drama, Harvey got the out he needed from Joey Rickard. Eighty pitches through three innings.

Ausmus rewarded Harvey with the fourth inning, when he set down the side in order on (just) thirteen pitches (compared with the earlier innings, it must have seemed like the blink of an eye. Two runs in four innings, good enough for a 4.50 ERA on the day, turned Harvey’s start from disastrous to rather pedestrian.

Albert Pujols, of course, was the other big story, cranking two homers for the 59th multi-homer game of his career.

After Pujols, the team busted the game wide open with three runs in the sixth, and Luke Bard, Cam Bedrosian, Ty Buttrey, and Hansel Robles provided five scoreless innings of relief.

Kole Calhoun raised his OPS on the season to .829.

Mike Trout still isn’t right, but he has time to figure it out before Minnesota, as long as the team keeps winning. Into second place and still going!

Poll

POTG?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Albert Pujols
    (205 votes)
  • 5%
    Matt Harvey
    (14 votes)
  • 14%
    Bullpen
    (37 votes)
  • 3%
    Brad Ausmus
    (8 votes)
264 votes total Vote Now