@ St. Louis Cardinals
Saturday, Sep 27, 2008, 7:15 PM EDT
Aaron Harang vs Todd Wellemeyer
Clear. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 75.
I've been doing a lot of the "first time since.." things lately, but I have one more today. The Reds have 4 pitchers who have thrown 174 innings or more (damnit Cueto, why couldn't you have thrown one more inning?). It's the first time since 1979 that has happened for the Reds. I guess what I'm saying with all of this minutia lately is that the starting rotation is looking solid for next year. Volquez will likely fall off a bit, but hopefully that will be countered by Cueto building on this season. Arroyo is what Arroyo is and all we can hope for is that his low points aren't quite as low as they were this season.
Harang definitely needs to get back to where he had been prior to this year, and I think there is reason to be optimistic about that happening. His season can really be divided into three parts:
Part 1 - (first 11 starts): 3.50 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 1.2 HR/9, 1.22 WHIP
San Diego relief appearance came between part 1 and part 2
Part 2 - (next 10 starts): 9.06 ERA, 7.5 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 2.8 HR/9, 1.90 WHIP
During part 2 he missed about 1 month on the DL
Part 3 - (last 7 starts): 2.39 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 1.3 HR/9, 1.08 WHIP
It's been stated on here many times before, but I think the 4 innings of relief in San Diego affected him a lot more than anyone in the organization will admit. All of these segments are affected by sample size, so I wouldn't put too much weight on the actual numbers. I think the important thing here is trending, and it's pretty clear that Harang just wasn't right during that time when he ended up being injured. The good news though is that he does appear to have gotten better of late. And though I called for him to be shut down earlier in the season, it is nice to know that he's still able to pitch well and get the job done.