Yesterday, the Rangers shut out the Seattle Mariners 4-0 because of Matt Harrison’s pitching jem, returning the scoreless favor to Seattle.
While not particularly dominant (he allowed 9 base runners and only struck out three,) he got the job done, getting the third out with multiple men on base four separate times.
In other words, while his WHIP is only 1.00, the statistic (in this particular game) was practically useless because four out of the five non-perfect innings had multiple runners. It’s not like they were scattered at all. In reality, it’s entirely possible that Harrison could have given up five runs and lost the game had the Mariners hit some timely doubles. But to his credit he didn’t, and absolutely deserved his complete-game shutout.
That lowered his ERA from 3.16 to 2.87, allowing Harrison to join the exclusive club of now 19 Major League pitchers to have an ERA under 3.00. Every pitcher needs offensive support, and that was created by Ian Kinsler and Adrian Beltre, who combined for three of the four runs on the day.
All four runs were scored off of Hisashi Iwakuma, who ended up an inning and a run away from a quality start, but the bullpen performed admirably, allowing zero runs over four innings of work.
Considering the failings of both their offense and starting pitcher, the MVP in this game for the Mariners would have to be reliever Steve Delabar. He threw 2 perfect innings with as many strikeouts in those two as Harrison had in his 9. That gives him a 2.57 ERA over a little less than two months as he develops into a reliable option for Seattle.
The Rangers have to be happy with the result as they take two of three in the weekend series and head to Oakland for a two game series, and continue south to face the Angels after a day of rest.
Seattle looks to regroup against the Royals in a three game series and continue on to Tampa after that.