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G91: Matt Harrison shines in Rangers’ 3-2 win

Anaheim starter Joe Saunders did something you never really want to do as a starting pitcher. Go the complete game and get a loss. Saunders had a great game. Eight innings, six hits, three runs, no walks, and five strikeouts. A really good line. The problem is the Rangers’ line was way better.
The problem was that Rangers pitching was better. Matt Harrison made his major league debut this night, and was fabulous. Matt went seven innings, giving up just five hits, one walk, and just the lone two runs. Matt had a rough start, with an error made behind him on the first play, but got a double play right after it, and from that point on he seemed to pitch better – even if he looked somewhat scared on the TV. :) Eddie Guardado & CJ Wilson followed. While CJ walked two in his inning (!), neither allowed a run, and kept the win for Matt Harrison.
In all, Angels hitting had just six hits. Two of them were by Howie Kendrick, and the other two were by Guerrero. No shame in giving up hits to Guerrero. Or Kendrick either, but you kind of expect it with Vlad in this ballpark. The only extra base hit was a double by Kendrick, everything else was a single.
The Rangers also only had six hits total. Two were by Michael Young, and the others were scattered amongst the lineup. Thing is, even though we only had six hits, it felt like more of an offensive game than the Angels did. That’s because Michael Young had a triple, Chris Davis had another home run (his fourth in his fourth start in Arlington), and Ian Kinsler had a double. Half of our hits were extra base jobs. Josh Hamilton extended his major league lead in RBI’s with two RBI’s. One was a sac fly to left, and the other was a single up the second base hole. That gives Josh 87 in all.
You know, I’ve written about Josh Hamilton a few times before, but a few more things have happened with him I wanted to point out, and now’s a good a time as any. First, when he was interviewed on the TBS All Star Game selection show, he didn’t shy away from his faith. Far from it. When asked a pile of questions to open, the first thing out of his mouth was (paraphrasing), “First off, Glory be to God for everything I have and where I am.” He mentioned God numerous times through the interview, and that’s something to rejoice over. He was quite joyful in his love of Jesus, and it showed in his interview. It’s for these reasons that I will believe Josh Hamilton when he professes his faith. It’s obvious he wears it for the right purpose. Unlike guys like Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin who profess to believe, but wear their faith like a piece of gold jewelery, and that’s all the wrong reasons.
Anyway, the other thing about Hamilton that I liked was that I read that he told his High School coach (or someone like that from his past) that if he ever made it to the Home Run Derby, that he’d take him as his pitcher. Well, that happened – said guy is going to be Josh’s pitcher in the home run derby. It’s moments like THAT that make me think that not all athletes are egotistical jackasses who care about their contract, and that’s it. So God bless Josh Hamilton. I can’t think of a better baseball player for my little girl to root for.
To get back to the game, Matt Harrison’s performance was awesome. Makes you wonder how long he’ll stick around, and if he can seize the spot on the rotation while he’s here.

Comments

  1. Mighty Matt says:

    This little anecdote is cool:
    “You know, I’ve written about Josh Hamilton a few times before, but a few more things have happened with him I wanted to point out, and now’s a good a time as any. First, when he was interviewed on the TBS All Star Game selection show, he didn’t shy away from his faith. Far from it. When asked a pile of questions to open, the first thing out of his mouth was (paraphrasing), “First off, Glory be to God for everything I have and where I am.” He mentioned God numerous times through the interview, and that’s something to rejoice over. He was quite joyful in his love of Jesus, and it showed in his interview. It’s for these reasons that I will believe Josh Hamilton when he professes his faith. It’s obvious he wears it for the right purpose. Unlike guys like Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin who profess to believe, but wear their faith like a piece of gold jewelery, and that’s all the wrong reasons.
    Anyway, the other thing about Hamilton that I liked was that I read that he told his High School coach (or someone like that from his past) that if he ever made it to the Home Run Derby, that he’d take him as his pitcher. Well, that happened – said guy is going to be Josh’s pitcher in the home run derby. It’s moments like THAT that make me think that not all athletes are egotistical jackasses who care about their contract, and that’s it. So God bless Josh Hamilton. I can’t think of a better baseball player for my little girl to root for.”
    I knew I was watching this season’s games for a reason. I smell playoffs, seriously. It’s so refreshing to hear about a baseball player with the right idea…the Ultimate Idea. He professes his belief in God (And this is not the first time I’ve heard about him doing so) and God seems to be rewarding him. Incredible. This rag-tag bunch of rookies is making me care about baseball again. Now I know why! Who’s got “Angels in the Outfield” now, California/Anaheim/L.A.?!

  2. We attended a Roughriders game in May where Harrison pitched a complete game, 7-inning no-hitter (it was game one of a doubleheader). He walked a bunch (something like 4 or 6), but none of them scored and the Roughriders won.
    I remember thinking at that time, “How long is it gonna take this guy to get up to the bigs?” Well, now I know my answer. lol
    What a first start for him. Hopefully he can keep it going.

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