ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rich Harden certainly bounced back with an improved outing on Monday, no-hitting the Twins for 6 2/3 innings.
He had five walks and fell behind too many hitters, but the big difference was that he fought through it, regained his control and got outs.
Would it surprise you to know that the Twins actually fouled off 52.3 percent of their swings against Harden, which is above his season average of 45.6? That's one reason the pitch count was up. The other was that Harden ended up in a handful of 3-2 counts.
I thought the first two batters of the game were critical for Harden. He fell behind 3-0 on both of them, yet managed to work the count back to 3-2 and then got fly outs. In most of his starts this year, those would have been walks (or at least one walk) and the inning might have unfolded very differently.
This means Harden has earned another start, slated for this weekend against the A's. Here's the question: Will he end up sliding into the rotation and make more starts down the stretch in September or will he end up being used sparingly in the final month of the season?
What would you do?