Starting pitcher Matt Harrison #54 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on April 27, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Matt Harrison has yet to show his form from 2011 and 2012, when he was under the radar as one of the best young starters in baseball.
His 2013 season, of course, was a lost cause after he was chosen as the Rangers' Opening Day starter and made exactly two starts before missing the remainder of the season thanks to a couple of back surgeries and pegged with an unsightly 0-2 record with a 8.44 ERA in his two outings.
Now, Harrison is on the comeback trail. He hasn't been great in his three starts this year, but that's not to be expected for a guy that went more than a year without pitching a big-league game.
On Tuesday night against the Astros, he'll get the welcomed opportunity to face the hilariously bad Astros lineup that makes the Rangers' look like the '27 Yankees.
Harrison is coming off his best outing of the year, when he went 5 1/3 innings against the hot-hitting Colorado Rockies and allowed just three hits and no runs. The bad thing was he walked four hitters, but he still limited damage and did it against a team that had tormented Rangers pitching for the three games prior.
It was also a season-high 97 pitches for Harrison in that game, which ideally you'd like to see spread over more than 5 1/3 innings, but it's progress. The hope is that Harrison can get to 100 pitches on Tuesday night, and it'd be great if he could get in seven innings of work.
If all goes well, it'll be just another step in the road to what's been a long road of rehab and recovery for Harrison. If he can get back to where he was accustomed to from 2012-13, it's going to be a big-time bonus for the Rangers and their shaky pitching staff.