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Rich Harden finally gets on track by dominating former team

May 4, 2010, 9:45 AM EDT

Apparently all he needed was a matchup against his former team (or maybe it was the punchless lineup), because Rich Harden turned in his first impressive start of the season Monday night in Oakland.
He shut out the A’s for seven innings, allowing just two hits while striking out nine and walking zero. In his previous five starts Harden had a ghastly 22/23 K/BB ratio in 23.2 innings, so favorable matchup or not it was a huge step in the right direction.
Harden is scheduled for another very favorable matchup against the Royals this weekend.

  1. BC - May 4, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    The only thing I can liken Rich Harden to is that old transistor radio that you kept trying and trying to get clear reception with. You’re trying to get WOR to come in clearly so you can get the NY Giants game… and after fiddling around, boom, crystal clear. Harden is like that: not there, not there, not quite there, and BAM – he’s unhittable when perfectly tuned.

  2. APBA Guy - May 4, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    The Mausoleum stadium gun is a little fast, about 1-2 mph, but Harden touched 96 (really 94)once and was consistently 93-94 (91-92) with a changeup that looks like a split. The speed differential on the change was 6-8 mph, but with the downward drop it was enough to make the A’s swing and miss a lot. Plus, he threw the change for strikes unlike his previous starts. Nowhere near the power arm he used to be, his key will be consistently locating the change. If he can’t keep it in the zone there is no reason for AL hitters to offer at it. They can sit on the now very average fastball and hammer it.

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