Matt Harrison was quickly approaching a wall a year ago as he navigated through what would be his first full season in a major league rotation.
His legs were failing him, and the results reflected a pitcher who needed some extra rest. He got it, as pitching coach Mike Maddux skipped Harrison's turn at the end of August and pushed back another start in early September.
There are no such plans this year for the Rangers' best starting pitcher. He won't pitch every fifth day like Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson the past two seasons -- though the Rangers would listen if he requested that treatment -- but he won't be skipped down the stretch.
"If they approach me with it, I won't have a problem with doing it," said Harrison, the Rangers' leader in innings at 161 as he enters his 25th start tonight. "I think they're probably going to give us the extra days off. Coming up the last part of the season, they want us fresh. I'm fine to go every five days right now."
Manager Ron Washington said that Harrison has matured this season and knows what he needs to do to survive a full slate of starts. The left-hander is keeping his legs strong and is finding a way to make the most of whatever is left in the tank.
"He's a horse right now," Washington said. "He's a big kid, and he's strong. He has impeccable work ethic. He's keeping his legs in shape, and he's keeping his mind in shape."
-- Jeff Wilson