Found May 29, 2012 on Fox Sports Southwest:
ARLINGTON, Texas By dialing down his fastball Matt Harrison has found a way to dial up his success rate. Harrison, who made a point of focusing on location and not power before his start Monday against Seattle, was able to work that plan to perfection as the Rangers doubled up the Mariners 4-2 at Rangers Ballpark. Texas has now won four-consecutive games and matched the 1998 team for the best 49-game record in club history at 31-18. Harrison has six of those victories and has returned to being the same dominant pitcher he was in early April in his last two outings. Since a wild first inning last week in Seattle, he's pitched 14 innings without walking a batter and has allowed just one earned run. Tuesday night he threw just 98 pitches in six innings and struck out five. While the pitch count was low, his strike rate was high as Harrison pounded the strike zone to the tune of 65 strikes. That success came from taking a little something off a fastball that can touch the upper 90s. "When you feel really good it's hard not to let it go," said Harrison. "You're way better at 92 or 93 when you're down in the zone than when you're at 95 or 96 waist high because guys can just put the barrel on the ball when it's up around that level. You can use it later on in the at-bat when you're ahead of the guys. From the get-go I was going to hit my spots." Harrison did allow a run in the first for the ninth time this season but after allowing an RBI single to Jesus Montero, he retired eight-consecutive batters and Seattle managed just three more singles off him until the eighth inning. Harrison (6-3) needed to be on top of his game because Texas also struggled to score against Seattle starter Kevin Millwood, who allowed just a solo homer to Nelson Cruz in his five innings. The Rangers finally gave Harrison a lead to work with in the sixth on a three-run homer from Mike Napoli. Napoli also played a role in preserving the lead for Harrison in the eighth. After allowing a leadoff single, Brendan Ryan tripled past a diving Craig Gentry in center to cut the lead to 4-2. Ryan tried to stretch the play into an inside-the-park-homer but was cut down at the plate with Mike Napoli blocking him after a Nelson Cruz to Ian Kinsler relay. Harrison, who allowed seven hits, rewarded the defense by retiring the final two batters he faced before giving way to Joe Nathan in the ninth. "We had a pretty good thing going tonight," said Napoli of Harrison, who shook off his catcher twice. "We were just following our game plan and watching swings behind the plate and going off that. He threw well, getting strike one, and he had a good sinker tonight." The Rangers need Harrison to be effective. He started May by allowing eight runs in 3 13 innings and had a 5.97 ERA in May coming into the start against Seattle. But Harrison has dominated the Mariners, upping his mark to 8-1 with his win Monday. While the Rangers were happy with Harrison's outing Monday, there was no surprise. He won 14 games last season and there's no doubting his ability. "I think he always trusts his stuff," manager Ron Washington said. "I just think the past three or four times he's taken the baseball he's been on a mission. The key for him is throwing strikes. He has a tremendous sinker. His off-speed stuff was real good tonight, his curveball and changeup. When he can spot his fastball in the strike zone and then use his curveball and his changeup, he's very effective, as he was tonight."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Oswalt deal no guarantee for Rangers

OK, now that Hamlet er, Roy Oswalt finally has made a decision, how effective will he be for the Texas Rangers? How healthy is he? How quickly will he join the Rangers' rotation? How will he fare pitching in the American League for the first time? These are all fair questions, and the Rangers can't pretend to know all of the answers. Don't get me wrong; the Rangers...

Rangers' Hamilton sits due to upper-respiratory ailment

Josh Hamilton didn't play Monday, and the Texas Rangers might be without him again for Tuesday's game against the Seattle Mariners. Hamilton, who leads the majors with 20 home runs and 53 RBI, is the most recent Ranger to be dealing with an upper-respiratory infection that is plaguing the clubhouse. Hamilton, who said he felt light-headed as far back as Saturday when he...

Rangers lead Oswalt sweepstakes

The Texas Rangers are the front-runner as the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes steam toward a conclusion. Ownership approval, in fact, appears to be the only roadblock left for the Rangers, major-league sources say. The Rangers are over-budget; their $120.5 million Opening Day payroll ranked sixth in the majors. However, the team's average attendance has increased from 36,382 last season...

Rangers sign Roy Oswalt

Recently departed Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt is no longer on the market, as he signed with the Rangers on Tuesday. The Rangers deemed his help necessary with the injury to starting pitcher Neftali Feliz. The deal is pending a physical, which is to be taken on Thursday, and will join Triple A Round Rock for a few starts before he makes his way to the majors. Sources say that the...

Reports: Rangers reach deal with Roy Oswalt

The Texas Rangers have reportedly reached a deal with free-agent Roy Oswalt, though the team has made no announcement. Numerous reports Tuesday, all citing unnamed sources, say the right-handed pitcher has agreed to a deal with the expectation of joining the Rangers rotation within a few weeks. General manager Jon Daniels and assistant general manager Thad Levine didn't respond...

Report: Roy Oswalt Signs With Texas Rangers

It appears that the rich are about to get richer. Roy Oswalt has agreed to a contract with the Texas Rangers, according to the Dallas News, citing a source close to the negotiations. Oswalt had been courted by several teams since the beginning of the year, including the Red Sox, but seems like he settled on the Rangers after a spot in their rotation opened up with Neftali Feliz&...

Rangers sign Oswalt, forget to play game

Tonight, the Rangers held a press conference at 8:15 p.m. to announce the signing of Roy Oswalt. Oh, and they also played a game that started at 7:05 p.m.  Clearly, one of those things was more important than the other. And the team seemed to sense that too. They didn’t really show up tonight.  Or rather, I didn’t recognize the team that showed up tonight. Scott Feldman didn’t...

Texas Rangers sign Roy Oswalt

It looks like the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes are over. The richer get richer and the poorer get poorer as they always say. The Texas Rangers are arguably the best team in baseball and they add the only significant free agent left on the market. Oswalt and the Rangers flirted with each other during the offseason, but there wasn’t room for him in the rotation. It’s funny how things...

Roy Oswalt Signs With Texas

Three-time-All-Star pitcher Roy Oswalt has signed with the Texas Rangers.  If he is called up by July 1, he will receive $8 million pro-rated-$4 million in his pocket plus and extra $1 milion in incentives if he makes10 starts.   Oswalt may be ready to join the Rangers by June 20.   

Texas Rangers to sign Roy Oswalt

The Texas Rangers have agreed to a contract with free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt, reports Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, Oswalt just turned down a deal from the Rangers over the weekend, and the club must have restructured their offer to make it more appealing to Oswalt. I had the Rangers as a 4:3 favorite to sign Oswalt earlier...

Oswalt, Texas Ranger

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Roy Oswalt has signed with the Texas Rangers. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, it’s a one-year deal worth between $5-6 million, depending on how much time Oswalt spends with the team. Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that Oswalt told the Rangers he will ready to pitch in the majors in one month. When he is ready, Oswalt likely...

Reports: Rangers sign Oswalt

Free-agent pitcher Roy Oswalt, who sat out the first two months of the season, has signed with the Texas Rangers, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday. There are varying reports on the terms of the deal. ESPN.com reported that if Oswalt, 34, is called up by July 1, he gets $8 million prorated, which is about $4 million. He can earn an extra $1 million in incentives if he...

Jewish Sports Dolls

Ian Kinsler, Ryan Braun, and Kevin Youkilis among many sports star dolls/puppets.       To check them out click HERE.
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.