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Rich Harden strikes out six and wins in season debut

Jul 2, 2011, 1:24 AM EDT

Wily Mo Pena, Rich Harden AP

Baseball truly is a wonderful game.

- Rich Harden, making his first start for the A’s since July 6, 2008, went six innings without walking a batter to defeat the Diamondbacks in his season debut.  It’s just the 10th time in 146 career starts that he’s pitched at least six innings and not walked a batter.  He walked two batters every three innings for the Rangers last season.

- Hideki Matsui beat Miguel Montero‘s errant throw to second base to record his first steal since Sept. 12, 2007.

- Wily Mo Pena, who was playing for the Bridgeport Bluefish a year ago, delivered a line-drive homer for the Diamondbacks, giving him four homers in seven starts and three pinch-hitting appearances since his callup.

- Batting one spot below him was Sean Burroughs, who was even further removed from the majors than Pena a year ago.  He was eating out of trash cans in Las Vegas.

OK, so Burroughs went 0-for-3.  He might end up back in the minors next week.  Pena could join him there a couple of weeks later.  Harden will surely return to the DL at some point.

But tonight was cool, and it served as a good reminder to never count anyone out.

  1. clydeserra - Jul 2, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    Best Canada Day ever

  2. cur68 - Jul 2, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    WMP hit another homer. Cool. It is an enduring mystery to me how Adam Dunn can remain in the bigs but Wily Mo knocks around like a bb in a can. I hope he sticks with the Dbacks and gets to start every game for the rest of his career.

  3. APBA Guy - Jul 2, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    That wasn’t just any homer. Anybody ever fire a TOW missile? That’s what Pena’s shot looked like. Fans were scattering to avoid the detonation when the ball impacted the seats. I don’t think the phrase “squared it up” does this shot justice. The A’s announcers were talking about it for 3 innings.

    • cur68 - Jul 2, 2011 at 11:57 AM

      More to the point AP, have YOU ever fired a wire guided missile? If so, under what circumstances? My old man drove Centurion tanks around for the Brits and has much to say about big gun work (primarily that it leaves you deaf as a post) and he can’t claim to have ever fired one. I may have to make a trip to Arizona to see Wily Mo do his thing if it’s gonna be like that.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Jul 2, 2011 at 4:26 PM

        I’ve fired a TOW missile. It’s kind of cool, like a live action video game. If it hadn’t been for the damn camel getting in the way……

      • The Baseball Idiot - Jul 2, 2011 at 4:27 PM

        cur68, a TOW isn’t a tank. Very little noise involved from the part of the sender. The receiving end, however, can be quite noisey.

  4. firerosenthalthebastard - Jul 2, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Harden loves pitching in Oakland

  5. nudeman - Jul 2, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Headline sure to come next week sometime:

    HARDEN REPORTS A “TWINGE”; SCRATCHED FROM NEXT START

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