Harang had no problem with baseballs

Updated: April 7, 2010, 7:18 PM ET
Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Reds pitcher Aaron Harang didn't notice anything unusual about the baseballs during Cincinnati's season opener.

St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter complained about the balls being slick after the Cardinals' 11-6 win on Monday.

Carpenter said some of the balls felt as if they hadn't been rubbed up with mud, which takes the shine off them. The job is usually done in the umpires' room before games.

Carpenter said the same thing about the baseballs following his final 2009 appearance at Great American Ball Park.

Harang went five innings in the Opening Day loss. He said on Wednesday that some of the balls felt "chalky," but that's not unusual when the mud dries.

"Sometimes they have a little chalky feel to them," Harang said. "The mud just kind of dries up and sits on the ball. It happens everywhere. You just throw them back [to the umpire] if you don't like it. I've never had a problem with it."

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa mentioned Carpenter's complaint to Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, a close friend from their days together in St. Louis. La Russa said he won't pursue it further.

"You alert them, and the organization will fix it if there is a problem," La Russa said. "I talked to Walt. I know he doesn't know anything [about the baseballs]. Sometimes it's a situation where the home pitcher doesn't want the ball rubbed up as much."

Carpenter allowed two runs in six innings on an uncharacteristically warm Opening Day -- sunny and 78 degrees at the first pitch.

"He threw pretty good," Reds manager Dusty Baker said Wednesday. "I'd hate to seem him pitch if he didn't have slippery baseballs."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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