Early innings doom Matt Harrison

August, 29, 2012
8/29/12
10:02
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's likely that Matt Harrison will get a third crack at the Tampa Bay Rays in about 10 days. And you got the sense he wants another chance to show he can beat them.

For the second time in 2012, the Rays jumped on the left-handed starter. He gave up seven runs on 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings in an 8-4 loss Wednesday. Back in April, the Rays tagged him for seven runs (six earned) on 14 hits in five innings.

"I think they have 26 hits in two games, that's not very good," Harrison said. "They've had my number in two starts this year. I guess I need to make some adjustments. I'll look at these two games and see what went wrong and try to get better at it."

Harrison gave up three runs in the first inning, two of those on a two-run homer by Evan Longoria, who has owned Harrison. In 14 at-bats against him -- regular-season and playoffs -- Longoria is 7-for-13 with three homers and nine RBIs.

"He's definitely better against lefties," Harrison said. "Right now, I'm trying to pitch him away with the hamstring injury and eliminate his power. It was poor execution. I didn't make my pitches and fell behind. The third at-bat, I was able to execute and got weak contact."

Harrison gave up three more runs in the second, as B.J. Upton hit a 1-2, 95-mph fastball out for a three-run homer. Harrison said he had a slight mechanical flaw, saying he wasn't staying over the rubber long enough to give his arm a chance to get on top and throw more downhill. That's something he'll work on during a bullpen session in between starts.

Harrison did manage to pitch better in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but gave up a home run to lead off the sixth to push the Tampa Bay lead back to three runs. He was taken out shortly after that.

The three home runs allowed were a season-high for Harrison and two of his three highest totals in both hits and runs have come against the Rays. Harrison wants to change that trend. Perhaps next weekend he'll get his shot.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Alex Rios
BA HR RBI R
.333 1 10 8
OTHER LEADERS
HRP. Fielder 2
RBIA. Rios 10
RE. Andrus 11
OPSS. Choo .895
WM. Perez 3
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23