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Almost Perfect

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There's a reason I called him King Richard. Tonight, Harden was absolutely dominant against a team that usually beats pitchers like pinatas.

This is the line to remember from July 14, 2005:

9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 8 K, 0 BB, 2.23 ERA

The most impressive stat though? 80 pitches in nine innings pitched and 61 for strikes.

As I said in the game preview, Texas is a team that has 147 home runs already and have scored almost 500 runs at the All Star break. And Harden stepped up and shut them down like he was pitching against the Dallas little league all-star team.

On a night when everyone anticipated the debut of some of the new Athletics, Harden decided to keep Kennedy and Witasick in the bullpen. And for those of us who were debating the Great Street Overpitching Issue of 2005, Huston got another night off, thanks to the Canadian.

The best part about the game tonight is that I felt like I was sharing the tension with all of you as time went by during the game. It's exactly why I created AN and validates all the hard work over the years. This was an awesome experience, so thank you.

I'm going on vacation through Tuesday of next week, so I leave you on this great night in the more than capable hands of Nico.

Talk to you next week. Hopefully, the A's will be back in second place in the West and a bit closer to the Garden Grove Angels.