This game should end the book on Matt Harvey - Reds Starting Pitcher. At least, for the 2018 season... who the hell knows what happens after that.
Since coming over in the trade for Devin Mesoraco, Harvey has put up a 4.50 ERA with 51 strikeouts to 15 walks in 68 innings pitched, good for a 1.221 WHIP and 92 ERA+. Those number don’t jump off the scoreboard by any means, but the WHIP in particular is a hell of a lot closer to his early seasons than anything he’s put up in recent seasons. The WHIP, ERA, ERA+ and BB9 are the best he’s put up since we last saw Matt Harvey be “Matt Harvey” for the Mets, back in 2015.
We can distill it down even further. From June 1st through the All Star break, Harvey had a 3.60 ERA with 33 K to 11 BB, allowing batters a .240/.303/.323 slash. He did, of course, get lit up by Pittsburgh in his first start after the break, but which Red didn’t?
In the grand scheme of things, one start doesn’t mean a whole lot, especially not to team executives looking at trading for the former phenom. That said... this start is pretty big for the Reds and their hopeful return for the righty. Getting through the damn thing healthy is the most key, but putting in a good outing might net the Reds something more promising than putting up a crap outing would.
Harvey actually pitched against this Phillies as a Met in his first start of the season, going 5 innings allowing 0 earned and 1 walk to go with 5 strikeouts. Those Phillies aren’t necessarily these Phillies, but still... he’s seen success.
Cross your damn fingers.
Vince Velasquez will go for the Phillies and he’s a guy I like quite a lot, really. He’s already surpassed his season high bWAR total of 1.8 with a 1.9 going into tonight, and that’s with 30 less innings pitched. His 4.05 ERA is what it is, but he’s allowing fewer home runs and few hits per nine innings than he ever has, while striking out more than 10 per nine.
Velasquez has never faced the Reds, and as far as I can find, Scooter Gennett is the only Reds batter that’s ever face Velasquez. He’s 0-2. .000 batting average.
Cincinnati Lineup ft. Mason Williams, your new RF
#Reds lineup against the Phillies today. pic.twitter.com/wxYM9roC3j— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) July 28, 2018
Philly Phils Lineup
#phillies 07/28 Lineup— Daily MLB Lineups (@DailyMLBLineup) July 28, 2018
C Hernandez 2B
R Hoskins LF
O Herrera CF
C Santana 1B
A Cabrera SS
N Williams RF
M Franco 3B
V Velasquez P
A Knapp C