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Harrison and Gentry shine -- and thank God for Zito

Rangers vs. Giants

Credit: Getty Images

Matt Harrison's shutout was huge for the suddenly pitching-starved Rangers (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images).


WFAA Sports Blogger

Posted on June 9, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 9 at 7:50 PM

Ian Kinsler set the tone early Friday night, putting the rangers on the board on the second pitch. Josh Hamilton went yard in the 5th*; that was more than enough. 5-0 was the final, in what, hopefully, was a Pedro Cerrano moment for the, of late, Strangers.

Matt Harrison looked sharp: no walks, 4k, CG, and most importantly, no runs. While the rangers bats have been cold (averaging under 3 RPG for June going into last night) and the rotation is facing some... erm...soreness, Colby Lewis & Matt Harrison look dialed in for the moment. 
That said, I can't quite put my finger on Harrison. Doesn't have overpowering stuff, but he can get the fastball up there at 95-96. And he doesn't always try to throw that hard, which is smart--that's what good pitchers do. Low 90's is hard enough. Use the low 90's stuff to stay fresh & set up the mid 90's stuff to be more effective. So he's got good traits. But when he's bad, boy does he royally suck. Plus, he's just so big and hairless out there... I dunno. it's weird.
But hey, speaking of rag-armed hippies... we weren't, but I'm bringing it up: Barry Zito is a rag-armed hippie. His left arm is the baseball equivalent of Chad "comeback player of the world" Pennington's right. I've got a question: Barry Zito's fastball resembles what? Is it:
a. 14mph over on an interstate
b. How fast Nolan Ryan can probably throw right now without warming up**
c. Your great grandma trying to figure out pinterest 
Correct! It's all of those things. Barry Zito's (who's been decent against the Rangers for his career: 18-5/3.72) fastball clocked in Friday at 84mph. Eighty four. Ocho four. Thats a Matt Harrison changeup. And in case you're unfamiliar, a changeup is a SLOWBALL. Hey, didn't the Rangers draft Barry Zito, and he refused to sign? Thank god.***
Finally, what got into Kitten Face? Craig Gentry****, 5-5. He had his first 4 hit game and his first 5 hit game on the same night. How efficient. But another CS on a "saw that a mile away" pitch out. Yikes. Super-fast, but not always the brightest base runner.
Alexi Ogando on the hill tomorrow should be interesting. He has got to come through in whatever starts he gets. Exclamation point. If he can't get more quality innings than Scott Feldman (sorry, dude) then it amounts to a wash for the rotation (Dutch Oven has stunk, if you'll pardon the metaphor) and depletion in the bullpen. And I'm sure you can do the math on that. We'll see. Go Rangers.
*Amazingly, the Giants have only hit 6 hr at home this year. Maybe not so amazing when you look at their lineup. ZING!
**And just so we're clear, Nolan Ryan is 70 years older than Barry Zito
***Couple of notes on Zito: worst. contract. ever. And it would be tough to hear that all the time. But I also wouldnt mind being on his end of the worst contract ever. Also, in fairness, I call Zito a rag-armed hippie because he is. but his rag arm is putting up ok numbers this season ( ????). though if im a gambling man, and i am if you count grifting, id say he again won't pitch 200 innings this year.
****My girlfriend, in the absence of that other dude-- the guy who was terrible in the all star game & the playoffs, that went to that other team--says craig gentry is "hot", Whatever that means.