Sunday, July 22, 2012
Matt Harrison done in by one big mistake
By Blair Angulo
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The pressure had been on Matt Harrison for the better part of six innings Sunday night. Five leadoff batters had reached base and he had been tagged for seven hits, already two more than he had allowed in a complete-game effort in his previous start. Harrison hadn't dealt with high-tension situations in recent outings and, with the Texas Rangers trailing by a run and opposing pitcher Dan Haren out of the game, he didn't want another stressful inning, especially with No. 9 batter Bobby Wilson in the box to start the seventh.
Matt Harrison's night came to an end after he have up a leadoff home run to Bobby Wilson in the seventh.
The left-hander missed on his first two pitches to Wilson and, in an effort to avoid more drama, tossed in an easy fastball.
"My biggest mistake," Harrison said of Wilson's home run, the catcher's first in nearly a year.
The Angels went up 4-2, Harrison was pulled from the game and the Rangers eventually fell, 7-4, and lost two of three to the Los Angeles Angels.
"I kind of dropped my guard," said Harrison, who lost for only the second time in his last 11 starts.
Manager Ron Washington thought Harrison pitched well given that he seemingly had at least one runner on base any time he toed the rubber. The four earned runs were the most Harrison (12-5) has surrendered since May 12 against these same Angels -- a span of 13 starts.
"He kept us in the ballgame," Washington said. "We just couldn't shut it down in the bullpen."
Alexi Ogando, who struck out two in a scoreless inning Saturday, came in for Harrison and got Mike Trout to fly out, the only time the 20-year-old rookie didn't reach base Sunday.