After yesterday’s game that was a 2-1 Rangers squeaker win, I was wondering if we’d score more than that for Matt Harrison. Matt’s easily been the most solid starting pitcher this year, but even guys that can win 2-1 games deserve some run support. Plus, after a squeaker like that, you want a blowout to cleanse the palette. Too many close games in a row aren’t good for the nerves. They’re especially not good for the fingernails, especially someone like myself who has a lifelong habit of biting their nails. As a short digression, the most tense filled series in baseball I’ve ever seen was the 1980 NLCS between the Astros & the Phillies. Of the five games in the series, four of the five went extra innings, and the one that didn’t, had a 3-1 score. But I digress…
Matt Harrison. He dominated this game. Went eight innings total. Threw only 90 pitches. Got to watch this one, and I have to say, I was annoyed when he wasn’t allowed to come back for the ninth. Much was made by the announcers about “keeping them fresh” for the post season, and “gotta give some other guys some work”. The hell with that. Harrison had only thrown 90 pitches through EIGHT FULL innings. At the rate he was going, we’re talking 10-12 more pitches. That little bit wasn’t going to affect in the postseason at all. Let the guy go out there for the shutout. We didn’t get that. We did get a perfect inning by Mark Lowe mind you (on 11 pitches), but I really REALLY wanted Harrison to go out there for the ninth, and didn’t get it. It annoyed me for a minute, but it’s hard to be all THAT mad when you look at Harrison’s line. That’s 14 wins, with two more in August to go. If Matt wins both of those, that would give him 16 at the start of September, and it wouldn’t be inconceivable that he gets to 20 by the end of the season. Now THAT would be great!
Offensively, we just unloaded on Toronto. Two in the third, one in the fourth, FIVE in the fifth, two in the sixth, and one more final run in the ninth. The Blue Jays box scores for their pitchers is pretty ugly. Actually, they had five pitchers, and two of them were unscored upon. But the first pitcher (Henderson Alvarez) got torched. His line:
4.1IP, 12H, 8ER, 3BB, 3K, 84P
He was knocked around pretty hard. The Rangers pounded out nineteen hits in this game. All the Rangers starters got into the action. None of the three late game subs (Gentry, Martin, Olt) got any hits, was all the starters. We were led by Elvis Andrus, who went 4-6. Michael Young, David Murphy, and Geovany Soto each had three hits. Everyone else had two, except Kinsler & Hamilton who just had one. Lots of power. There were seven doubles (Murphy x2, Kinsler, Hamilton, Cruz, Young, & Moreland). There were also two home runs. One by Murphy, and one by Michael Young. Young’s pretty much lost his power the last couple of years, but generally can still hit the ball. Murphy however has done QUITE well lately, and has elevated himself to a regular starter. His batting average in the month of August is the third highest of all players, so he’s working quite well at the moment.
Overall, it was nice to see a big bomb win like this. :) As I’ve said before, I like the 2-1 wins too, but 11-2 wins are much easier on the nerves. :)