G8: Harrison’s groundball was working; Rangers win 4-1

The Rangers hit the road for the first time in 2012, taking the show to the other parks.  Matt Harrison takes the hill in Target Field, a place that’s been pretty bad for the Rangers – we’ve only one once before tonight in the two seasons the place has been open to this point.   Matt went out there and did darned well, kept the streak of good starting pitching going.

Matt went eight innings, and quite easily, too.  Allowed seven hits and two walks, but he had his groundball working, which served him well.  Had a couple of double plays, and overall just had a bunch of groundballs.  He looked great.   Left the game with 111 pitches thrown, and at the time, there was discussion on TV about letting him come back out for the ninth.  He didn’t, but I would have liked to have seen him go for the complete game, to be honest.

Matt is starting to come into his own, much like Derek Holland did last year.  That’s two young guys (Matt is 27, Derek is 25) in our rotation who seem to be coming into their own at the same time.  It’s just amazing.  As has been said by others, this time now is the golden era of Texas Rangers baseball.  Used to be 96-99, and as much as I loved the Johnny Oates era, I think it’s been supplanted by Ron Washington’s team.  That’s quite an accomplishment.   But Matt’s groundball is amazing – I was quite pleased watching that last night.   It’s just game eight of the season, and Matt Harrison is already 2-0.   At that rate, Matt will have over 30 wins this year!  YEAH!  hahaha.

He was followed in the ninth by Alexi Ogando, who got the save – not Joe Nathan.  This is interesting, as there are now three Rangers pitchers who have a save in the eighth game of the year.   Ogando allowed a hit, but nothing else – and the Rangers are 6-2 now.  Could quite easily be 8-0.   I wonder if that last bit is why we saw Ogando.  Seems a bit early to have a closer controversy, but I was surprised we didn’t get Nathan out there.  Especially given it was a return to his stomping grounds.   I suspect we’ll see Nathan in this series, but it was odd he wasn’t out there for the easiest possible save scenario.

Offensively, Ian Kinsler continues his torrid start to 2012 (and I keep getting annoyed I didn’t get him in any fantasy league).   Ian was only 1-5 this game, but the one was a home run – a no doubter as well.  His average is .344 after the first eight games.  Great numbers from your leadoff guy.   And we just signed him through 2017 or so.  That’s a great feeling.  Have to imagine he’ll just get better as he’s entering his prime.

Elvis Andrus also did quite well, going 3-4.  He was the opposite.  He’s had a bad spring, and I had to bench him on my fantasy teams.  Then he pulls a 3-3 when I have him benched.  Good for the “real” team.  Bad for my fantasy teams.  :(

Murphy took an ofer, and his average DROPPED to .381.   Michael Young was 2-4 and is at .344.  Michael has 11 hits this season already in eight games.  That’s an average of 222 hits over a full 162 game schedule.  :)

But I’m feeling best this game about Matt Harrison.  LONG LIVE HIS GROUNDBALL!