CINCINNATI -- If Aaron Harang feels comfortable pitching anywhere, that place is Great American Ball Park.
The Mets right-hander felt right at home Monday, overcoming six walks and five hits to allow just two runs in six innings and come away with no decision in the Mets’ 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Reds, the team for which he spent eight years pitching.
“I was hoping to go out there and give us a chance to win,” said Harang, who pitched in Cincinnati from mid-2003 through 2010. “It’s always special to come back and pitch in a place where you pitched so long. It feels like you’re pitching in your home ballpark. I felt like I pitched well.”
The only problem inning during his third start for the Mets was the second, which opened with Todd Frazier’s leadoff double and included Shin-Soo Choo’s RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to Joey Votto.
“Second inning, runners on, I thought I got too quick,” Harang said. “With Votto up and runners on, I didn’t want to give him anything to hurt me. I pitched safe. He’s the one guy in the lineup who can hurt you every time.”
If anybody would know, it’s Harang.
“I was lucky enough to get to see a lot of them come up,” he pointed out. “I saw a lot of those guys make their debuts and mature as players.”
Harang also made a lot of friends off the field during his stay in Cincinnati, though he didn’t recognize any faces or voices while he was working.
“I wasn’t paying attention,” he said. “I was locked in ... focused. I have some friends from here who did come to the game, but I haven’t seen them yet.”