Harvey looks to stay hot vs. Reds, while Kershaw gets call in Miami
By Spencer Fordin
Matt Harvey is on a roll again. The Mets' ace has allowed just one earned run over his last two starts, and he'll try to keep his good fortune going Saturday against the Reds. Three starts ago, right before his current hot streak, Harvey allowed a season-high-tying seven earned runs.
It's been an up-and-down season for Harvey as he works his way back from a year spent on the sidelines due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Harvey has a 3.18 ERA through 14 starts, but if you take away the two seven-run games, that number would drop by more than a run to 2.05.
The Reds will go with rookie Michael Lorenzen, who pitched in just 49 games in the Minor Leagues before progressing to the parent club. Lorenzen, the 38th overall selection in the 2013 MLB Draft, has gone 3-2 with a 3.56 ERA in his first 11 games in the Majors, but he's already allowed nine home runs.
Here's a few other matchups and games to look forward to on Saturday:
Royal treatment: KC @ OAK, 4:05 p.m. ET
The Royals have maintained a sturdy hold on the American League Central for most of the season, and the starting rotation has been a big reason. Kansas City's starters are allowing just 3.64 runs per game this season, second only to Tampa Bay among AL teams, and Chris Young will take the ball next.
Young is 6-3 with a 2.83 ERA this season, and nine of his 15 appearances have been starts. The veteran has a 3.14 ERA in his starts, and he's pitched to a 1.64 mark in eight games on the road. Young had an ERA under 2.00 in both April and May, but it's ballooned to a 5.09 mark so far in June.
Scott Kazmir, Oakland's starter, has notched a 4-4 record and a 2.70 ERA in 14 starts, and he's notched more strikeouts (79) than hits allowed (68) this season. Kazmir has given up seven home runs, and just two of those have come in the last eight starts. Oakland is 6-8 when Kazmir pitches this season.
The Franchise: LAD @ MIA, 4:10 p.m. ET
Harvey isn't the only ace who's starting to find his form. Clayton Kershaw has led the National League in ERA in each of the last four seasons, and he's been his dead-level best for the last month. Kershaw is 3-2 with a 1.94 ERA in his last six starts, and he's held opposing hitters to a .156 batting average.
Kershaw has been bitten by the home run this season, and he's already given up more homers (11) in his first 15 starts this year than he did in 27 starts last year (nine). Despite the increase in home runs, Kershaw leads the NL in strikeouts (131) and strikeouts per nine innings (11.8).
Tom Koehler will pitch for Miami, and he'll go into the game with a 5-4 record and a 3.76 ERA. Last year, Koehler had very similar numbers, finishing his season with a 10-10 record and a 3.81 mark. Koehler has been especially good at home this season, where he's logged a 1.52 ERA in seven appearances (six starts).
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.