The on-again, off-again rains in Baltimore have continued, forcing the Seattle Mariners and host Baltimore Orioles to schedule a doubleheader Thursday in an effort to complete their four-game series.
After a rainout Monday, the teams split a twin bill Tuesday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the Mariners winning the opener 4-3 in eight innings and the Orioles taking the nightcap 7-6 to snap their four-game skid and Seattle’s three-game winning streak.
Wednesday’s game was supposed to be a matchup of former New York Mets first-round draft picks, as right-handers Matt Harvey and Justin Dunn were scheduled to start.
The Mariners have altered those plans and will start left-hander Marco Gonzales (0-1, 10.45 ERA this season; 0-1, 6.75 in three career starts vs. Baltimore) against Harvey (0-1, 5.59; 1-0, 1.59 in one start against Seattle) in the first game. Dunn (0-0, 5.79) will face Orioles lefty Bruce Zimmermann (1-0, 4.50) in the nightcap. Neither Dunn nor Zimmermann has faced his respective opponent before.
When Dunn was selected in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Mets, the “Dark Knight” still ruled Gotham.
But Harvey’s reign was already starting to crumble. After returning from Tommy John surgery in 2013, Harvey led the Mets to the World Series in 2015. The next season ended with a diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome and another surgery.
Harvey won just five more games for the Mets before largely unsuccessful stops with the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals and now the Orioles.
“When you start an All-Star Game and then you pitch in a World Series, I think the last thing you ever think of is how excited you’ll be to make a team again,” Harvey told the Baltimore Sun after making the Orioles in spring training.
Gonzales, who has started the past three Opening Days for the Mariners, has allowed five or more runs in both of his starts, something he did only once in 11 starts in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
“Obviously I have a high standard for myself in executing pitches and being able to keep control of the ballgame, keep us in it and giving us a chance to win,” Gonzales said. “These are all things that I pride myself on, and I just haven’t got the job done.”
Dunn went 4-1 with a 4.34 ERA in 10 starts in 2020.
His first start this season was a bit wild, as he allowed three runs on just one hit — with eight bases on balls — in 4 2/3 innings against the Chicago White Sox.
“When I got in the stretch, it felt a little foreign to me,” Dunn said. “But it is what it is. I can’t really make excuses. That can’t happen and I’ve got to build off of it.”
Zimmermann earned his first career win by beating Boston on April 4. The Baltimore native didn’t receive a decision against the Red Sox in his second start, despite again allowing three runs in six innings.
“He gave us six really good innings to keep us in the game,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “That was an excellent job of pitching.”
–Field Level Media