That's what he said he was taking away from Friday night's outing. He said the progress came from getting his off-speed pitchers over for strikes early against Detroit. He did throw more strikes (62) than he has in any other start this season, but he still didn't make it out of the fifth.
He still hasn't had a quick inning. His best Friday was a 17-pitch inning. He's only retired the side in order three times this season. He retired the first two batters in three of his innings Friday, but followed that with a walk (first), a walk (third) and a single to right (fourth).
Manager Ron Washington is still behind Harden though, who was victimized by some soft hits Friday.
"We believe in him," Washington said. "I don't think we've made any decision yet. Tonight he was better. Once again, they didn't actually hit him around the ballpark. We've just got to get him to try and be conservative with his pitches."
- Anthony Andro