The first time Matt Harrison stopped and asked himself if that just happened came in the off-season, when the Texas Rangers first approached him about signing a long-term contract extension.

As strange as it sounds, the potential dollars weren’t necessarily the wow factor. He was bowled over by the fact that the team he’d had to scratch and claw to make actually wanted him to stay for a long haul.

He didn’t have to wait too long to be stopped in his tracks again. That happened March 21, when he was named the Rangers’ starting pitcher for Opening Day. He expects to be humbled again Sunday before he takes the mound in the lid-lifter at Houston.

The past year — which includes 18 wins, an All-Star Game and a five-year, $55 million contract — has taken Harrison on quite a ride. But he remains grounded and seemingly unfazed by the weight of a skyrocketing career that only three years ago looked like it might flat-line.

“It’s been a lot at one time,” Harrison said Friday. “I’ve always been a guy who is under the radar. I always had to make the team in spring training. It’s a little weird to be in this situation. It’s hard for me to explain.

“For me, I expect it to happen. It’s what I work for and what you think about when you’re younger to get to the point where you’re financially stable and able to make a career out of it. That’s what the goal is.”