SALISBURY, Md. - The pitching matchup tonight between Hunter Harvey and Lucas Giolito at Perdue Stadium did not disappoint as the two 19-year-old pitching prospects combined to throw 11 scoreless innings, allowing just three singles.
For Harvey, the Orioles’ No. 4 prospect according to Baseball America, it was another solid start for Single-A Delmarva.
He went six innings, allowing just one single. He walked one, hit two batters and fanned seven. Harvey threw 89 pitches in lowering his season ERA to 1.06.
“He did a really nice job for us,” Delmarva manager Ryan Minor said. “He competed well. He matched their guy inning for inning. Got himself out of a jam. Real impressed with his stuff tonight. It was fun to watch those guys pitch tonight.”
Harvey said he had very good fastball command tonight and this was the best of his three starts so far for Delmarva.
He also was aware another top pitching prospect was out there for his opponent.
“Yeah, I knew he was out there,” he said. “I really just went out there and pitched my game. He pitched his and did a heckuva job. But I just went out there and did what I was born to do really.
“I felt pretty good. Everything was working good and my command was good. I’d say it was my best start by far. Was able to put the ball where I wanted it.”
With such solid command of his heater, Harvey did not throw that many secondary pitches against a Hagerstown team that came into tonight leading the league in runs.
“I mean, I probably threw 10 curveballs and probably four or five changeups,” he said. “Like I said, my fastball command was on and was able to command it down in the zone.”
Harvey’s command did waver a bit in the top of the fourth when he hit the first two batters he faced and was called for a balk. But he was up to the challenge. He went strikeout, popup, strikeout against the middle of the Suns order to end that threat.
“Got behind in the count and wound up hitting both of them. Once they got on, just tried my hardest to keep them there,” he said simply.
Over his O’s career, Harvey has now pitched 47 1/3 innings, allowing 29 hits and seven runs for an ERA of 1.33. He has walked 10 and fanned 58.
Already some fans are wondering if Harvey should be promoted to the Carolina League or if that will happen soon. Harvey said that is not on his mind.
“No, you know, right now it’s about getting experience,” he said. “Learning how to pitch and learning how to use all my pitches. Work on my changeup and just getting better overall right now.”
By the way, the scoreless standoff finally ended on a Drew Dosch RBI single in the last of the 15th as Delmarva won 1-0. The Shorebirds improved to 6-7 and swept both games of this series from a Hagerstown team that was 9-2 when it got here.
The second game of a scheduled doubleheader was postponed until later in the year. The combination of a long game that used up pitching and an overnight bus trip for the Shorebirds led to the decision to play just one of the two scheduled games.