It's been a battle for Texas Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison.
It was a 14-month battle to get back to a big-league mound after an unprecedented spinal fusion procedure, and when he returned from that the only good thing about his season debut was the fact he was making it.
His second start told a different story, as he went to hitter-friendly Coors Field, saw his velocity hit the low 90s and worked six shutout innings against a good Rockies lineup. That stirred up all kinds of good vibes of where Harrison might be in his quest for a big-league comeback.
Then, Monday happened.
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Harrison wasn't as bad as he was in his season debut, but he wasn't a whole lot better.
The big lefty pitched into the seventh inning, but didn't record an out in that frame. In the end, he was charged with six runs in six innings after being spotted an early 2-0 lead.
"I feel like I didn't get loose until about the fifth inning," Harrison told Fox Sports. "The third inning I made some bad pitches to start that inning off and got some trouble there. After us scoring the two runs I went and gave it back to them, gave the momentum right back to them."
Harrison, who can't be optioned to the minors unless he agrees to it, will likely get the remainder of this season to prove to the Rangers he can be a viable rotation piece moving forward. So far, it's been a battle of consistency — expected given his surgery and subsequent recovery — and it's one he'll have to win if he wants to pitch for the Rangers, or any MLB team, beyond this season.