So, I attended my first game of the season last night. Interesting game. I seem to have attended a disproportionate number of walk-off wins over the past few years...
Jeff Wilson's game story focuses on the two big story lines from last night -- Hamilton's disputed double that should have been called a home run, and Rich Harden's outing.
Wilson mentions that the team had discussed in their Tuesday meeting the possibility of d.l.'ing Harden if he had a repeat of his last outing, but he pitched well yesterday. You'd have liked to have seen him go more than 5 1/3 innings, but the two runs he allowed in the second inning came on four hits, two of which were softly hit bloops and one of which went about 40 feet. That was the Rich Harden we expected to get this year.
It was also interesting to me, getting to hear the level of vitriol on talk radio directed to Harden. Driving to the game, one of the hosts on the Hardline said that he'd put Harden in the bullpen, and sit him next to Doug Mathis in a long relief role (which shows how much attention is being paid to the team, given that Mathis has been gone almost a week), maybe getting rid of Joaquin Arias to make room for another starter. Another host said he'd "cut the son of a bitch" if he pitched poorly yesterday.
I'm wondering if there isn't something going on behind the scenes that hasn't been made public, in regards to Harden, that is fueling what seems to be a remarkably angry and hostile view of him by some in the media.
Evan Grant talks about the failure by the umpires, the manager, and the Rangers' themselves to do what needed to be done yesterday. I think it is fair to say there were three people in TBIA last night who thought that the Josh Hamilton hit did not go over the fence -- Doug Eddings, Dana DeMuth, and Ron Washington.
Ron Washington says he should have asked for the disputed Hamilton double/home run to be reviewed. Between that and yet another Elvis Andrus two on, no one out sacrifice bunt, my comfort level in our manager continues to drop.
T.R. Sullivan's game story discusses the Rangers pulling off yet another walk-off victory.
Richard Durrett has a Q&A with Tommy Hunter up at the ESPN Dallas site.
Jeff Wilson's notes this morning discuss, among other things, Justin Smoak's ability to contribute even when he's not having hits fall in.
Anthony Andro has a story about Kevin Millwood returning to TBIA with his new team.