ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 27: Matt Harrison #54 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 27, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Matt Harrison started the season in dominant fashion, and despite hot starts from Colby Lewis and the recent surge from Yu Darvish, he might have been the Texas Rangers' best starter three times through the rotation. He jumped out to a stellar start, was 3-0 and had an ERA of 1.66, beating the White Sox, Twins and Tigers.
Then came Friday night's home start against the Tampa Bay Rays, in what could have potentially been a preview of the ALCS in October. The Rays pounded Harrison, as he gave up 14 hits and six earned runs in five innings while watching his ERA skyrocket to 3.38. It was, by a ton, his worst outing of the season, and his worst outing dating back quite some time into the 2011 season.
The Rays jumped on Harrison early and often in that game and there was even some speculation that the 26-year-old lefty was tipping his pitches off, in some way or another.
Today, Harrison will try to keep the Rangers' streak of not losing consecutive regular-season games in, well, seemingly forever alive as they close their series against the Toronto Blue Jays after a pretty heartbreaking loss Tuesday night which saw the Rangers blow an early 5-0 lead, tie the game up in the top of the ninth and then give up a walk-off blast in the bottom of the ninth.