All of the Rangers scoring in this one came in one inning – the third, but this time it was enough as Matt Harrison pitched a gem into the eighth inning before Mike Adams and Joe Nathan shut the door for the Rangers to even up the series going into Wednesday afternoon’s finale.
Harrison had trouble in his first and last innings, but in between was outstanding not allowing the Mariners to get much of anything going. If you take out the two hits allowed in the first and eighth innings and the two walks in the first, Harrison only allowed three hits and didn’t walk anybody else. It was the type of performance that was needed, not only for Harrison but for the Rangers. Scott Feldman is going today and isn’t completely stretched out as a starter, going 4.2 innings in his last start. Harrison held his own and everybody should be available in the Rangers bullpen today which takes a lot of pressure off of Feldman before a much needed off day on Thursday. The off day is also well placed because it gives the Rangers a complete turn in the rotation before having to make a decision on Feldman and who will replace Neftali Feliz in the rotation on a more permanent basis.
The offense was good in this one and took advantage of the opportunities they had. Elvis Andrus tripled with two men on base and Josh Hamilton followed that up with a double to score Andrus and that was all of the offense for the Rangers. That inning was started by two walks, and the Rangers only managed two other hits the entire ball game. Mariners pitching tends to have the Rangers number lately, and this was a completely different Hector Noesi than in his first start against the Rangers in Yu Darvish’s debut where he couldn’t hang on to a 5-0 lead.
Game three of the series starts at 2:40 CST and will have Feldman (0-1, 3.00 ERA/3.70 FIP) for the Rangers against Kevin Millwood (2-4, 4.17 ERA, 3.35 FIP). Millwood has struggled this season but is coming off of a four hit, complete game shutout of the Colorado Rockies — in Colorado. The former Ranger has almost cut his HR rate in half compared to the rest of his career. With a pitcher with a career as long as Millwood, you probably can’t expect that to last but Safeco Field may be just what the veteran needs at this stage in his career.