Monday, September 9, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #62 PETE HARNISCH


AN ARM THE ORIOLES COULD'VE USED.




LED THE MAJORS IN SHUTOUTS WITH 4 IN '93.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Pete Harnisch is the final player profiled from the big Jan. 10, 1991, trade, getting packaged by the Orioles with #10 Curt Schilling and #9 Steve Finley for #41 Glenn Davis of the Astros. Harnisch didn't have the career of mound-mate Schilling or the impact of Finley, but he had a solid 14 years that included one All-Star selection.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • With the Reds on Oct. 3, 1999, in the final regular-season game, Harnisch pitched 5.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing four hits, in a 7-1 rain-delayed victory over the Brewers. The victory in the final regular-season game forced a one-game playoff with the Mets for the NL Wild Card. It was Harnisch's 16th victory of the season and his best shot at making it to the postseason. However, the Mets defeated the Reds the next day, 5-0.

DEFINING SEASON

  • In '93, Harnisch went 16-9 with a 2.98 ERA and a major-league leading four shutouts. He added 185 strikeouts against only 79 walks in 217.2 innings.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Harnisch went between Triple A and Baltimore in his first two seasons and pitched three overall with the Birds, going 16-22 with a 4.49 ERA.
  2. Made an immediate impact in '91 with the Astros after the trade, posting a career-low 2.70 ERA and 12 victories.
  3. NL All-Star manager Lou Piniella rewarded Harnisch with a spot on the '91 team despite a 5-7 record at the break. 
  4. Also in '91, he became 26th pitcher to strike out the side on nine pitches. He got Phillies left fielder Wes Chamberlain swinging, shortstop Dickie Thon looking and pitcher Jose de Jesus swinging in the top of the seventh, his final inning of work. He earned his ninth win and struck out 12 overall as the Astros won 3-1.
  5. His forgettable three-year career with the Mets ended in '97 after being diagnosed with clinical depression and having a confrontation with Manager Bobby Valentine. The tiff occurred after being moved to the pen and led to him being designated for assignment and then traded to the Brewers. Valentine is a "very low-grade person,'' Harnisch said in a parting zinger.

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