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)
Over his last two starts, Matt Harrison has watched his ERA go from one of the league's best early in the season to just bad.
After he pitched into the eighth inning against the stout Detroit Tigers back on April 21 and gave up three runs, his ERA climbed to 1.66 from 0.64. In his last two starts, he's pitched a total of 8 1/3 innings and given up 14 earned runs in blowout losses to the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.
It's not time to freak out about Harrison just yet, but another stinker of a start tonight in Baltimore, where the Orioles are actually in possession of the American League's best record at the moment, would signal the time to start covering the panic button.
Harrison was incredibly solid last season, going undefeated in the months of July and September, but if you look back to April and the beginning of May of last season, you might see a familiar sight.
Harrison was blown out in his final April start last year against those pesky Blue Jays, giving up seven earned in three innings. In his next outing at Oakland, he gave up four earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. After that, he had four straight quality starts.
So there you go, he's shown before that he can bounce back from some rough outings, and tonight would be a great time to show it again.
Derek Holland bounced back from two rough outings on Saturday to pitch into the eighth inning and give up one earned run in the Rangers' win over Cleveland, now it's time for Harrison to duplicate that and get things back on track.