20 years ago today Rangers CEO and President Nolan Ryan pitched his 7th no-hitter in the old Arlington Stadium. The Prez struck out sixteen and walked two throwing 122 pitches. Lefty Matt Harrison took the mound for the Rangers today against the Oakland A’s, and certainly didn’t come close to that performance. Harrison was good early in the season but seems to be stepping back into the Matt Harrison of old.
Matt Harrison went only one and two-thirds innings allowing six hits and four earned runs. Harrison also walked two batters and only had one strikeout. In less than two innings Harrison threw 49 pitches and was just unable to throw them effectively. A horrible game for Harrison, this makes me wonder if Tommy Hunter may end up with his spot in the rotation when he returns.
The team relied on Dave Bush to pitch in long relief and he was effective. Bush went 4.1 innings and allowed two runs (only one earned). The game was out of reach for the Rangers but Dave allowed minimum damage. From there rightly reliever Ryan Tucker entered the game allowed one hit and an unearned run in one inning of work. Pedro Strop pitched the eighth allowing a hit and no runs.
On the other side Gio Gonzalez took the mound for the A’s, going 6.2 innings. Gio allowed five hits and two runs picking up 7 strikeouts. From here the Rangers just weren’t able to put together enough offense. Ian Kinsler and Michael Young each had RBIs in the game. If Oakland can put runs behind their talented pitching staff, they will certainly be a threat to come.
An interesting play occurred in the seventh inning, with a runner on third a ball was popped up into the immense foul territory of the Oakland/McAffee/Overstock.com Coliseum. Catcher Mike Napoli takes off to catch the ball and bobbles it as he falls into the Rangers dugout. The umpire ruled it a no-catch, which turned out to be a good thing, as the runner tagged up from third and would have scored. Napoli appeared to be fine after the tumble, and it was neat watching the team in the dugout with arms extended ready to catch Napoli.
Also John Radigan is apparently terrified of seagulls, Tom Grieve loves them, and we had two innings of seagull-talk on the broadcast. Tom had never heard of the band “Flock of Seagulls” and they also debated the gender of seagulls. Not exaggerating at all, this was the conversation.
Tomorrow Derek Holland takes the mound opposite former Ranger Brandon McCarthy. It’s another afternoon game so it’s safe to predict more seagull talk.