Matt Harrison pitched Sunday, and pitched well. He blanked Colorado on five singles and two walks over five innings, going to a three-ball count just twice. But he was chased with mild lower back stiffness, forcing Ron Washington to go to the bullpen early. Robbie Ross gave him an inning of work, as did Tanner Scheppers and Mike Adams and Joe Nathan.
The workload since that night for the Rangers’ four key active relievers:
Nathan: 32 pitches on Sunday, Monday off, 13 pitches on Tuesday, 14 pitches on Wednesday, 21 pitches on Thursday (shaky command)
Adams: 18 pitches on Sunday, Monday off, 26 pitches on Tuesday, 12 pitches on Wednesday, 23 pitches on Thursday (shaky command)
Ross: 24 pitches on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off, 17 pitches on Wednesday, 8 pitches on Thursday
Mark Lowe: 25 pitches on Saturday, 38 pitches on Monday
Tonight, Harrison faces Oakland rookie righthander A.J. Griffin, a finesse guy who was outstanding in his debut against San Francisco on Sunday. But as we saw in Justin Grimm’s second effort on Monday, debuts aren’t necessarily predictive of the second time out. The Rangers likely had an advance scout in the stands for Griffin’s first start, and now there’s a bit of a book.
An early jump on Griffin by the Rangers offense would be much appreciated tonight, as would an eighth straight sturdy effort by Harrison, one that lasts deep into the game this time.
Joe, Mike, Robbie, Wash, Mike, and the rest of us