What do you think of when you picture an ace pitcher? You think of a pitching with a blazing fastball and an unhittable breaking ball who blows away starting pitchers start in and start out and consistently gives his team great outings. The Rays have a pitcher who fits that profile in David Price and the Rangers have a pitcher on their who has a chance to be like that someday in Yu Darvish. But tonight, the Rangers throw out the pitcher who they currently consider their ace: lefty Matt Harrison. The Rays send to the mound the pitcher who was considered to be their ace last season: right-hander James Shields. Neither pitcher is a true ace. Neither throws in the mid-90′s and both are extremely dependent on their secondary pitches, their changeup, their curveball, and their cutter, in order to succeed. We’ve seen with Shields how although he can dominate, sometimes, even for prolonged stretches, games don’t go his way. Last time Harrison faced the Rays, they demolished him. It’s harder to be a pitcher like Harrison or Shields who has to be more crafty and not simply blow pitchers by hitters. How will they do today? We’ll see as they go head-to-head. Even if they’re not real aces, they’re excellent pitchers and today is going to be fun to watch.
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