(For those not familiar with this kind of chart, it's a product of thesetwo posts in the offseason.)
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On a night when Rich Harden needed but a single run to secure a victory for the green and gold, the A's poured out nine of them. Dan Haren and Joe Blanton could have used some of those in the first two games of the series, but no one has yet found a way to put runs into a savings account for days like that.
Harden wasn't as dominant as he was in spring training, but we can't expect him to strike out almost 15 per nine innings in the regular season. His current 9.0 SO/9 is perfectly fine by me.
His first three innings were fantastic, but Harden ran into some trouble in the fourth. Ichiro singled, and then Adrian Beltre worked an eight pitch at-bat before grounding into a double play. For some reason, Harden then issued a four-pitch walk to Jose Vidro, the first of two four-pitch walks on the game for Harden.
From the fourth inning on, Harden threw 23 balls. He threw only seven in the first three innings. Over the course of the game, he threw first-pitch balls to nine of the 25 batters he faced.
I don't mean to be overly critical of Harden's outing, though. When you have to break it down that far to find anything, there's not much to worry about.