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Ranger reax: Harden 'not happy' with start

4/18/2010

NEW YORK -- Rangers pitcher Rich Harden gave a straightforward answer when asked about his start to the 2010 season.

"I'm not happy with it," Harden said. "I have to make some pitches and be more efficient. It's as simple as that."

Harden struggled again with the efficient category on Sunday. It was a combination of the patience and ability of Yankee hitters to foul pitches off and Harden's troubles with his command. He walked six Yankee batters and hit two of them, allowing eight free passes in the game. Sidenote: The umpire said Harden hit Mark Teixeira, though the replays look like the ball may not have touched Teixeira and Harden insists he didn't hit him.

Harden's pitch count quickly climbed to 94 and he was taken out after 3 2/3 innings. It's the second time in three starts that he's been unable to get out of the fourth inning. He has more walks -- 14 -- than innings pitched -- 13 1/3.

"Too many pitches, too many walks and when you do that, the result is a broken bat hit can score a couple of runs,"

Harden said. "You can't do that. That's unacceptable."

Harden said his command has been "pretty inconsistent" so far this season.

"I have some work to do," Harden said. "I need to get ahead of hitters and put them away faster. Even guys I get ahead of today, they worked the count to get back in it. Sometimes I tried to make too good of a pitch instead of doing what I did to get ahead."

Other reaction:

* 3B Michael Young said Andy Pettitte was his usual impressive self, mixing in a good cutter and a back door slider.

* Manager Ron Washington on the weekend in New York: "It was awfully tough. Today was just one of those days where we gave them too many baserunners. When you give a tam like that so many baserunners, they'll get you.