Matt Harrison sits just outside the 10 in the AL ERA race at 3.05, which would be a career best. He has already set career marks in starts, innings pitched and strikeouts. It appears as if the 25 year old is figuring it out.
Harrison's new found success isn't simply due to some mental change in his makeup, though that may be a key factor. He also has better "stuff." Harrison is throwing harder this year (average fastball velocity of 93.0 mph) than ever before (career average fastball velocity of 91.7 mph).
Harrison has also been more consistent this season, working six full innings in 16 of 19 starts and throwing a quality start in 14 of 19 starts.
When he takes the mound tonight, Harrison will be aiming to tie his career high of 9 wins. If form holds true, he's going to have to pitch a stellar game to get that 9th win. While Harrison's run support of 5.49 runs is in the middle of the pack amongst big league pitchers, his record is certainly not being helped by the usually potent Rangers offense.
In what can only be described as an odd stat, every single one of Harrison's 8 wins has come in a start in which he has allowed 1 earned run or less. On the flip side, in Harrison's seven losses, the Rangers have averaged a meager 1.29 runs per game.
Run support is an oddly inconsistent stat, but it seems that one starter per year in each rotation tends to get the short end of the run support stick. This year, the Rangers version of that starter looks to be Matt Harrison. Fortunately for the Rangers, he's pitching well enough that it hasn't been a major issue.