Jun 192012
 
Matt Harrison 3

Rangers bats quiet, but pitching prevails in 2 1 win over PadresHarrison continues dominance on the road

If the season ended today, you’d be hard pressed to argue against Matt Harrison as the Game 1 starter of any post-season series.  Colby Lewis has better numbers on the full season in terms of ERA and WHIP, but Harrison has been absolutely lights-out as of late, going 5-0 in the last 30 days (6 starts) with a 1.43 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.

To be fair, Lewis puts up a good fight over the last 30 days as well with a lower WHIP, more strikeouts and less walks.

Possibly even more astounding, after last night’s win over the Padres in San Diego, Harrison is now 7-1 on the road for the 2012 season with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.

Harrison’s performance wasn’t without it’s brief bouts of trouble, but he found his comfort zone after escaping a tough first inning in which he gave up the Padres only run of the game.

“It was definitely a battle from the get-go: first inning, three leadoff hits — fortunately I was able to make some pitches and get out of that,” Harrison said. “By the third or fourth I was starting to find a rhythm, find my release point a little better.”

Harrison’s strong performance was needed last night, as the Rangers bats were silenced by Jason Marquis, who surrendered both of the Rangers runs in the first inning via a David Murphy 2-run single.

Mark Lowe, Mike Adams and Joe Nathan shut down the Padres in the 7th, 8th and 9th respectively to secure the win.

Bottom line – Rangers were out-hit last night, and one could argue that they were even out-pitched as they were held to only two hits over the final seven innings, but they got the win.  Feels good doesn’t it?

Quick Hits

  • Roy Oswalt could join the Rangers as early as Friday.  President Nolan spoke with ESPN Radio yesterday and said:
    • “If the group feels like they would like him to start this weekend against Colorado, I would be comfortable with that,” Ryan said.
    • Click here for more details from that interview.
  • Josh Hamilton came in last in last night’s game as a defensive substitution and is expected to start tonight in game two of the series in San Diego.
  • Rangers are currently 4th in the ESPN MLB Power Rankings.
  • Rangers are currently 1st in the Baseball Do MLB Power Rankings…sorry, no link.
  • Rangers bats quiet, but pitching prevails in 2 1 win over PadresAll-Star Voting Updates
    • Nelson Cruz has slipped to 5th in the All-Star OF voting as Adam Jones and Jose Bautista have both passed him.
    • Ian Kinsler leads Robinson Cano by only 15,000 votes at 2B.
    • Mitch Moreland has more votes in Albert Pujols at 1B.  This makes me smile.
  • Scott Feldman (0-6, 6.50 ERA) and former Rangers prospect and more importantly, the chip that landed Josh Hamilton, Edison Volquez (3-6, 3.70 ERA) face off tonight in game 2 of the series.
    • Feldman has done little to inspire Rangers fans lately, so here’s hoping he can string something together against one of the worst teams in MLB.
    • Volquez is quietly resurrecting his career in San Diego after showing flashing of brilliance in a tumultuous stint in Cincinnati.
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