Matt Harrison not making any excuses
June, 7, 2011
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- If there was a starting pitcher who could understandably have some excuses for a poor performance, it was Matt Harrison.
While Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki was fighting through a triple-digit fever in Game 4 of the NBA Finals across town, Harrison was dealing with pain from a kidney stone that still has not passed.
Harrison said he "hit a wall" earlier than expected -- probably because he's hasn't been feeling well the past few days. But health aside, he said he didn't make the pitches when he had to. Harrison ended up allowing four runs on eight hits in just four innings with two walks and five strikeouts in a game in which the Tigers scored eight runs on 20 hits.
Harrison also didn't use another excuse: a controversial call in the fourth inning. Harrison was ahead in the count 1-2 when Austin Jackson swung at a breaking pitch low and inside. Catcher Mike Napoli thought he caught the ball cleanly for a strikeout. But home plate umpire Ed Hickox ruled Jackson foul-tipped the ball and it hit the dirt before Napoli got it.
"He foul tipped it, but I thought he [Napoli] caught it clean," Harrison said. "But that was the umpire's judgment and that's the way it goes. I still got to make another pitch even though I didn't get my way that time. I left the ball a little bit over the plate and he was able to drive one in the gap."
Jackson hit a 3-2 pitch for a single to drive in two and make it a 3-0 game. Jackson would later come around to score to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead after four innings. They would add to it to end up with eight runs on 20 hits. Detroit has 38 hits and 21 runs in the first two games of this series.
"It seems that everything they touch fell in," manager Ron Washington said. "In the game of baseball, a base hit is a base hit and they're getting them. They're getting them with runners on base."
Harrison threw 89 pitches in five innings. It came a night after Colby Lewis threw 88 pitches in just 3 1/3 innings. The excellent starting pitching this club had on the road has not shown up yet at home. Harrison had a scoreless streak of 19 1/3 innings snapped in that fourth inning.
Meanwhile, Harrison said he's going to keep resting and seeing if the kidney stone passes.
"I don't know what's going on really," Harrison said. "Hopefully, it's out of the way in the next day or so and I can get ready for my next start."