Four of a kind

Oakland pitcher Rich Harden will play a big role in the AL pennant race.

Updated: November 21, 2003, 5:33 PM ET
By Tim Kurkjian | ESPN The Magazine
The most important pitcher added by a team in July wasn't Sidney Ponson, Jeff Suppan or Scott Williamson. It was Rich Harden. Like Tim Hudson and Barry Zito before him, Harden was called up during a pennant race to give the A's a boost.

"He's the best pitching prospect we've had since I've been here," GM Billy Beane says of the 21-year-old righthander. "People say it's too much pressure bringing up a guy now. But pressure is what the game is all about. I'd rather have young talent in a pennant race than anything else."

Tim Kurkjian

ESPN Senior Writer