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Firsts on May 3:


1.      Tommy Hunter made his 2010 debut, throwing a
sharp three innings (no runs on two singles and one walk in three innings, 26 of
38 pitches for strikes) in a start for Oklahoma City.


2.      We saw a pair of concentric rainbows in the East
sky around 7 p.m.


3.      Justin Smoak blasted a big league home run
from the right side.


4.      A multi-hit game for Craig Gentry, who was
key tonight.


5.      Neftali Feliz recorded saves on back-to-back


6.      I enjoyed watching Rich Harden make a Rangers


I enjoyed
watching that very much.


Command.  Control. 
Velocity.  Efficiency. 


strikes two-thirds of the time.  Sixteen
swinging strikes (which is 16 more than in his last start). 


Harden looked
like the guy who went 18-9, 2.98 lifetime as a home pitcher in Oakland-Alameda
County Coliseum, not the one who’d been so difficult to watch as a Texas Ranger
until tonight.  Harden came into tonight’s
game with 23 walks in 23.2 innings. 
Tonight: zero walks in seven frames. 
Before tonight, he’d thrown 57 percent of his pitches for strikes.  Tonight: 71 percent.


In fact, only
two A’s hitters worked a three-ball count off Harden all night.  (Well, one: Daric Barton did it both times.)


To sum it up:
In each of Harden’s last five starts, including tonight’s, he has faced between
23 and 25 hitters.  In two of those
games, he lasted 3.2 and 4.1 innings. 
Tonight, he logged 7.0. 


effort, any way you look at it.  That’s
the guy Texas was excited to land in December.


Jon Daniels made a
point before the game that, despite all the moves the Rangers have made over the
season’s first four weeks, many of which have been fairly drastic, the club has
not made one roster move involving a pitcher. 
It’s a stunning thing to say about a Rangers club.


Rich Harden made it emphatically
clear tonight that he wasn’t going to make a pitching move necessary.



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(c) Jamey Newberg




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