Matt Harvey took the mound against the Yankees for another spring training start and he wasn't at his best.
The final line for Harvey isn't great: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 K. But a casual look at the Yankees' side of the box score makes it look worse, as it shows that Harvey struggled against the top of the Yankees order but dominated their fringe players.
Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Brandon Drury went 6-9 against Harvey, scoring all five runs against him. In contrast, against the bottom of the order, filled with players unlikely to start on Opening Day, Harvey didn't allow a baserunner. Hitters five-through-nine went 0-10 against him.
"Today's focus for me from the beginning of the start to the end of the start that I was concentrating on my mechanics and keeping those smooth, where I wanted them," Harvey said. "I felt like I did that really well today, so I'm very happy about that."
Harvey got straight into trouble in the first inning. Gardner and Judge each singled to lead off the game then Harvey hit Stanton with his next pitch, loading the bases. The first two would score, but Harvey limited the damage by inducing an inning-ending double play off the bat of Austin Romine.
Harvey's next hiccup came in the third inning, as Drury got his second RBI of the day, scoring Gardner on a groundout to shortstop. He breezed through the Yankees before seeing the top of the lineup again in the fifth inning. With two outs, he walked Judge then Stanton uncorked a two-run HR, which ended Harvey's day after 61 pitches.