Tag:Aaron Harang
Posted on: May 14, 2011 11:42 pm
 

3 up, 3 down: Billingsley, Bergesen dazzle

Billingsley

By Evan Brunell


Chad Billingsley, Dodgers -- Billingsley actually drew the loss, but it was far from his fault. He went eight strong, limiting the Diamondbacks to just one hit and an unearned run, walking two and whiffing eight. Hardly deserving of a loss, no? The "loss" dropped his ERA to 3.36, which is 21st in the NL which sounds unimpressive but the 26-year-old appears to be returning to the dominance of his 2008 season. The Dodgers are sorely in need of some good news amid the fracas surrounding the owner, Frank McCourt, and declining attendance. Billingsley is that guy.

Ramon Hernandez, Reds
-- A fine performance for Hernandez, who is actually playing less than Ryan Hanigan these days. That should change, as Hernandez contributed a 3-for-3 night with two runs scored and two RBI, adding a walk and punching two home runs off of Kyle McClellan. The night, which was already high in tension given Johnny Cueto's first start against St. Louis since effectively ending Jason LaRue's career, ended in a 7-3 Cardinals victory. The win pushed the Reds to half a game ahead of St. Louis for the divison lead.

Brad Bergesen, Orioles -- Who saw this coming? Bergesen is a good-enough No. 4/5 starter, but a complete game against the first-place Rays, limiting them to four hits? Yeah, didn't see that coming. Yet, that transpired Saturday as Bergesen punched out five Rays to one walk. Sadly, this probably is his career highlight, but it's quite a fine one, indeed. The win was his first of the year against four losses and pushes Baltimore to two under .500, with Tampa Bay holding onto a two-game lead over the Yankees thanks to a suddenly surging Red Sox taking down New York.



Juan Rivera, Blue Jays -- Rivera did end up scoring a run in the 11th thanks to walking, but prior to then he was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. That's just not going to fly, especially since Toronto has been trying to deal Rivera and his slightly-bloated contract the second they gladly took it from the Angels to dump Vernon Wells. Rivera is at .217/.314/.283 on the season. At this rate, not only is he untradeable, but he's at risk of being released by Toronto if and when they deem Travis Snider ready to return.

Aaron Harang, Padres -- Harang put together his fourth straight disastrous outing by turning in a 4 1/3-inning effort against the Rockies, giving up seven runs, four walks and seven hits. He punched out a paltry seven, and Harang's ERA is all the way up to 5.05. Not exactly what people expected after his hot start to the season combined with his new home in Petco Park. He'll get a chance to right himself next week against the Brewers at home.

Gavin Floyd, White Sox -- Floyd has been pretty good for the White Sox and has been one of the saving graces of their brutal season, but Saturday he contributed to it with five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Athletics, which isn't easy to do in Oakland's park. Floyd's been so solid this season, the effort only pushed his ERA to 4.22.

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:40 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Floyd stymies Yankees

Floyd

By Evan Brunell

3 UP

Gavin Floyd, White Sox -- Floyd was masterful against the Yankees, pitching eight innings (he departed the game after giving up a single to lead off the ninth), while whiffing 10 and allowing just two runs in a win. Floyd now has a 3.60 ERA as the 28-year-old has proven himself to be a valuable -- and extremely consistent -- pitcher for Chicago after flaming out of Philadelphia. He could be poised to make a leap this year and has the Orioles next on the docket.

Adam Lind, Blue Jays -- Lind showed the Rangers what's what by bashing two home runs on a 3-for-5 outing, tallying up five RBI. It's more of the same for Toronto against Texas, as Anthony Andro noted on Twitter, given the Jays have cranked a staggering 31 home runs against Texas in the last 13 matchups. That's an insane number. It may be the breakout performance needed for Lind to get going; he has the potential to hit well over 30 home runs for the Jays but was off to a slow start before Tuesday's fireworks.

Daniel Descalso, Cardinals -- The backup infielder has gotten some additional time lately thanks to the Skip Schumaker injury and David Freese sitting out a couple of games. His offensive slash lines were rather poor, but got a boost Tuesday thanks to a 3-for-3 night with a double, triple and three RBI. He also tacked on a walk for a night that will certainly earn him a bit more playing time over Tyler Greene moving forward.

3 DOWN

Aaron Harang, Padres -- Harang was part of the featured matchup On Deck earlier Tuesday as he was going for his NL-leading fifth victory. Instead, he gave up eight runs in six innings to the slumping Braves. Harang should still benefit greatly from playing in Petco Park, but being 4-0 with an 0.88 ERA just begged for a radical fix. Now, Harang has a more believable 3.90 ERA that he should hover around all year.

Brandon McCarthy, Athletics -- OK, so maybe the Athletics didn't make out like bandits with McCarthy. Having impressed out of the No. 5 spot up until Tuesday, McCarthy was due for a course correction and got it by coughing up seven runs and 14 hits against the Angels in just 5 1/3 innings. McCarthy got dinked to death with eight singles and did not give up a home run. It remains to be seen whether this is an aberration or the regression everyone has been waiting for. History suggests the latter.

Roy Oswalt, Phillies -- Oswalt got bombed Tuesday, coughing up five runs in three innings to the Diamondbacks. The right-hander has struggled with back spasms, but reports after the game indicated that his back was not bothering him. What's with the performance, then? An interesting twist is that Oswalt, usually accessible, left the stadium without talking to reporters, much to the surprise of Phillies media writers, some of whom wondered if something was up to cause Oswalt to depart quickly. He'll certainly have some questions awaiting him tomorrow.

HONORABLE MENTION: Brett Cecil, Blue Jays -- Cecil was demoted by Toronto after showing poor velocity and getting knocked around. It was good timing for Toronto to demote him, as he was burned for 11 runs 4 1/3 innings in his first start for Triple-A. Clearly, there's something not right.

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Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:13 pm
 

On Deck: Harang goes for NL-leading fifth win

Harang

By Evan Brunell

Best matchup: Aaron Harang loves his new home in San Diego, as he's won all of his starts to date. With a victory in his fifth start Tuesday night, he would extend his NL-leading wins tally and pull within one of overall baseball leader Jered Weaver. Harang, who didn't make the 2010 postseason roster in Cincinnati after a three-year stretch of a 4.71 ERA and 18-38 record, has suddenly trimmed his walk rate to a career-best and has yet to allow a home run on the year. But he'll have his hands full winning the game as the Braves will toss out Jair Jurrjens. The 25-year-old started the year on the DL so has only made two starts so far, but what beauties they've been. In 13 total innings, Jurrjens has allowed just one run on a solo homer, walked three and whiffed 10. Both teams are scuffling on offense, so this could be quite the pitcher's duel. Braves at Padres, 10:05 p.m. ET

Chasing No. 23: Andre Ethier will seek to extend his hitting streak to 23 games for baseball's most dysfunctional squad. After seeing a trustee named Monday to oversee the club, GM Ned Colletti said Jonathan Broxton had lost his closer's job. But wait -- manager Don Mattingly disagrees. For all those people in an uproar over the death of soap opera TV shows, we've got a live version playing out before our very eyes. The Dodgers, behind phenom Clayton Kershaw, will battle Chris Volstad (good news for Ethier as Volstad has a 6.60 ERA on the year) and the 14-7 Marlins, who have matched the best start in franchise history as well as engineering nine comeback victories already. Dodgers at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET

Young guns: As the Red Sox chase .500, they'll ask Clay Buchholz to take the mound and address the troubles he's experienced early on. Buchholz has a 5.31 ERA on the year but is facing the right team in an attempt to turn his fortunes around as he has a 0.32 ERA in his last four starts against Baltimore. The O's were also Buchholz's victims back in 2007 when the youngster tossed a no-hitter. But the O's have their own electric starter coming out in rookie Zach Britton, who may have forced Baltimore's hand to keep him up the entire season and thusly qualify for free agency a full year earlier. Britton has a 3.16 ERA on the year and could be poised to cut a swath through Boston's lefty-heavy lineup. Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. ET

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Posted on: April 6, 2011 10:24 am
Edited on: April 6, 2011 5:10 pm
 

Pepper: Royal excitement

Royals

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Are the Royals baseball's most exciting team?

Well, through five games they are, that's for sure. All four of the Royals' victories this season have come in their final at-bat. Tuesday's walk-off winner was Melky Cabrera's 12th-inning RBI single for a 7-6 victory over the White Sox.

In the team's lone loss, on opening day, the Royals' Alex Gordon was just feet short of a walk-off homer in a 4-2 loss to the Angels last Thursday.

"All of a sudden, you just expect us to win and that's it," Royals infielder Chris Getz told MLB.com . "There are plenty of doubters out there, no one's giving us much of a chance, but what do we have to lose? We've got that good feeling and we'll just ride it out."

The Royals have had a different hero each night. In their first win, Kila Ka'aihue led off the ninth inning with a homer to break a tie, the next day the Royals scored two in the eighth inning, capped by Getz's RBI single. The Royals then used a three-run walk-off homer by Matt Treanor (above) in the 13th to beat the Angels in the series finale.

With four victories in their final at-bat, the Royals may not be the best team in 2011, but they're worth sticking around to watch.

Last season the Braves lead the big leagues with 25 victories in their final at-bat.

SEARCHING FOR A WIN -- Another day, another Red Sox loss. Will the Red Sox go winless this season and will the Reds go undefeated? Eye on Baseball's Matt Snyder joins blog favorite Lauren Shehadi with the answers (which, well, are both 'no.')

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS -- Ubaldo Jimenez's thumb is better -- but may not be good enough to allow him to make his start Friday in Pittsburgh. The Rockies' right-hander is expected to throw a bullpen today to test the cuticle injury on his right thumb. If Jimenez can't start, Jorge De La Rosa would start in his spot. De La Rosa will be on regular rest following Sunday's snow-out. [MLB.com ]

SHIFT BE A-GONE -- Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said putting three men on the right side of the infield has never been an effective strategy against him. Last season he had more singles to left field than right. The Indians, though, had good luck with the shift on Tuesday. The Indians used the shift and Gonzalez was 0 for 4 with two groundouts to the right side. [WEEI.com ]

COSTLY ERROR -- Jayson Werth's error was one of several events that led to the Nationals' 3-2 loss to the Marlins on Tuesday. [CSNWashington.com ]

A TRADITION LIKE NO OTHER -- I absolutely love the baseball tradition of giving a guy the silent treatment after his first homer in the big leagues. Tuesday's victim was the Angels' Hank Conger. [Press-Enterprise ]

WELCOME HOME -- Padres starter Aaron Harang looked like his old self in a victory over the Giants on Tuesday. In his first season with his hometown Padres, Harang certainly looked comfortable at Petco Park. [San Diego Union-Tribune ]

CALLED SHOT -- Toronto's Yunel Escobar told teammates Carlos Villanueva and Edwin Encarnacion the team would come back to win, even though they were down 5-0 in the middle of Tuesday's game against the A's. After a four-run sixth inning to tie the game, Escobar delivered on his promise with a two-run homer in the 10th to give Toronto the win. [MLB.com ]

NO MINORS FOR LEAKE -- Reds manager Dusty Baker said sending starter Mike Leake was never an option, even though it appeared that Leake made the team out of spring only because of the injuries to Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey. Baker said Leake was overthrowing in the spring and looked like the guy who started the season 6-1 with a 3.53 ERA in Tuesday's win over the Astros. Leake, the Reds' first-round pick in 2009 made the big league rotation out of spring training last season, bypassing the minors altogether.  [Cincinnati Enquirer ]

BELT MAY BE DEMOTED -- When Cody Ross returns to the Giants' lineup, rookie first baseman Brandon Belt could be the odd man out in San Francisco. The Giants say they will base their decision on Belt's play, but sending Belt down would keep the status quo. With Ross back in right field, Aubrey Huff could move back to first. Or if the team decides to keep Belt, Huff would move to left and would make Pat Burrell a bench player. Also, putting Belt in the minors for more than 20 days would keep him from accruing a full year of service time and delay his free agency a year. [FOXSports.com ]

NO FEUD -- Former Met Pedro Feliciano said he was going to strike out Ike Davis when the Yankees face the Mets next month. Davis was uninterested in escalating the "feud."

Davis said it was Feliciano's job to strike him out, and well, last season he struck out 138 times, so "it's not that tough of a feat." [New York Post ]

BANDWAGON ROOM -- Attendance at Yankee Stadium through the first four games of the season is down about 8,000 fans per game. [ESPNNewYork.com ]

YANKS AREN'T ALONE -- As we mentioned the other day, it's not just Yankee Stadium that has its share of empty seats -- Wrigley Field has plenty of seats available, even for the seagulls. [Chicago Sun-Times ]

ON THE OTHER HAND -- Blue Jays fans are excited for their team in Toronto. [Slam! Sports ]

SUNSHINE BALL -- Is there any hope for baseball in Florida past March? [MASNSports.com ]

ROLAIDS ALERT -- The folks over at Big League Stew take a look at the top 10 new concessions at MLB parks this season. 

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Posted on: April 4, 2011 10:01 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:12 pm
 

Pepper: Closer concerns in NL Central

Brandon Lyon

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The National League Central appears to be one of the most competitive divisions in baseball, with up to four legit contenders for the crown, so every little difference is going to be magnified when it comes to the end of the season.

While we're a long way from magic numbers, but the division's closer could be cause for concern.

In the first weekend of games, NL Central closers blew four of eight save chances -- including the first three -- and had an ERA of 12.91. Only Pittsburgh's Joel Hanrahan (who is 2 for 2 on save opportunities) hasn't allowed an earned run among the division's six closers.

All six closers have had save opportunities, and half of them are save-less. Milwaukee's John Axford has allowed four earned runs and hasn't finished an inning in two appearances, allowing a walk-off three-run homer to Cincinnati's Ramon Hernandez on Thursday and allowing two hits on Sunday before being replaced.

St. Louis closer Ryan Franklin gave up a game-tying homer in an eventual opening-day loss to the Padres and Houston's Brandon Lyon allowed six hits and three runs, picking up the loss against the Phillies on Friday.

The Cubs' Carlos Marmol struck out the side on Saturday for his first save, but Sunday he walked one and allowed two hits to cough up a lead, sending the Cubs to a 5-4 loss to the Pirates (and setting up Hanrahan's second save).

And then there's Cincinnati's Francisco Cordero, who picked up a save, but didn't instill much confidence in anyone, allowing two hits and a run in Saturday's Reds victory against the Brewers.

It could be a wild ride this year in the NL Central this season, and that's just the ninth inning.

HOMETOWN BOY -- Padres manager Bud Black said part of his reason for setting his rotation as he did was to allow San Diego native Aaron Harang make the start for the Padres' home-opener at Petco Park on Tuesday.

Black said it also helped that Harang has a history of opening day starts. Harang started five consecutive opening days in Cincinnati. He is in his first season with the Padres. [San Diego Union-Tribune]

PRETTY MUCH -- Dustin Pedroia on the Rangers' sweep of the Red Sox: "They kicked our ass, that's it." [Boston Herald]

RAY OF HOPE -- On opening day, the Rays announced a long-term deal with Wade Davis. The team's No. 1 starter, David Price, said he'd be interested in a long-term deal as well.

"Everybody here knows that I feel very comfortable here with the Rays," Price told MLB.com. "And I feel like I fit in very well with this organization and how they do stuff. If it's something we're able to get done, it's definitely something I'd like to do."

TURF CALF? -- Johnny Damon said Tropicana Field's artificial surface may have contributed to his right calf tightness that forced him to be scratched from Sunday's lineup. [St. Petersburg Times]

ANGEL TOURISTS -- Howie Kendrick and Torii Hunter talk about how special the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City is to them. [Orange County Register]

BASEBALL ART -- Aubrey Huff made a diving catch in Los Angeles on Saturday and before Sunday's game, Pat Burrell, Dan Runzler and Brandon Belt taped a body outline in the outfield where Huff made his catch. Here's a picture of their art.

HALLOWED GROUND -- Volunteers cleaned up at the old Tiger Stadium and finished off with a pickup game of baseball. The Navin Field Grounds Crew will be doing this every week during the summer in Detroit, hoping to allow everyone to use the field. [Detroit Free Press]

JAPANESE HERITAGE DAY -- The best highlight of Sunday's Japanese Heritage Day in Oakland was when Ichiro Suzuki caught Kurt Suzuki's fly in right and threw out Hideki Matsui at third base. The A's and their fans also raised more than $65,000 for earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan. [San Francisco Chronicle]

HUMIDOR SECURITY -- MLB has tightened its security procedures concerning the humidor at Coors Field, an "authenticator" will keep an eye on all the baseballs from when they're taken out of the humidor to the umpire's room where they're rubbed down to the Rockies dugout, where they're kept. During the game, he'll watch the bag. [Denver Post]

CARDS OWNER CONFIDENT -- Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. is happy with his team and confident, but added the team does have playroom flexibility of "several million dollars" if the team needs something later in the season. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

COPYING BAGWELL -- Astros shortstop Clint Barmes will wear a protective pad on his left batting glove when he returns to action. Barmes suffered a fractured bone in his hand late in spring training when he was hit by a pitch. Barmes said it's the exact same pad attached by velcro that former Astro Jeff Bagwell used to wear. Barmes said he wore a similar pad after breaking his hand in 2002, but will make it a permanent addition this time. [MLB.com]

VLAD THE ENIGMA -- Vladimir Guerrero has wowed us on the field for years, but not much is known about him off the field. But the Baltimore Sun's Kevin Van Valkenburg and Jeff Zrebiec have managed to write a really interesting feature on the new Oriole. For instance, before every home series, Guerrero writes down the name of all the Spanish-speaking players and coaches coming to town, and will then have his mom cook food for all the Latin players and bring it to the park. Guerrero's mom has lived with him since he was in Montreal. [Baltimore Sun]

REALLY? -- Wearing a guy's jersey to a game is one thing, but a whole uniform, catching gear and all? This Philadelphia fan was at Sunday's game wearing complete catcher's gear, a glove, mask and even taped wrists. I wonder if security allowed him through the gate with metal spikes? [Philadelphia Daily News]

OAKLAND'S 'DUMP' -- Apparently the field at the Oakland Coliseum smells like sewage. And that's not all that's wrong with the Coliseum. [San Francisco Chronicle]

GREINKE PROGRESSING -- The Brewers expect Zack Greinke to throw off the mound at some point during the team's week-long homestead starting today. Greinke still isn't expected to return this month, but throwing off the mound is the first step to determining when he can return. He played long toss and threw from 60 feet before Sunday's game in Cincinnati. [MLB.com]

BLAKE BETTER -- Casey Blake is eligible to come off the disabled list on Wednesday and hopes to be ready when he is eligible. The Dodgers are in Denver on Wednesday. [Los Angeles Times]

REWARD OFFERED -- A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest in the case of Dodger fans beating Giants fan Bryan Stow, 42, a Santa Cruz paramedic and father of two. Stow is currently in a medically induced coma. [Los Angeles Times]

SIGNS YOU'RE OLD -- When Jim Thome faced Blue Jays rookie Kyle Drabek on Saturday, the TV folks accidentally put up Thome's career numbers against Doug Drabek, Kyle's father. [UniWatch Blog]

IZZY SHELVED -- Jason Isringhausen, attempting a comeback with the Mets, left an extended spring training game on Saturday after feeling a "twinge" in his back. [New York Daily News]

DIFFERENT SWING -- John Smoltz talks about his attempt at a golf career. [Detroit Free Press]

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Posted on: March 9, 2011 9:20 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:46 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/9: Holland emerges for Rangers

HarangBy Evan Brunell

3 UP

1. LF Alex Gordon, KC: 3 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 2 RBI. Gordon really needed this game, as a 3-for-3 night lifted his average to just .263. Already termed a bust, Gordon is likely on his final shot to contribute to the Royals. Heck, K.C. would take simply being an average contributor. In the same game, Lance Zawadski went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and one run scored. He's a Triple-A player who got a cup of coffee with the Padres last season. Why is this mentioned? Because Zawadski was my double-play partner in high school. Rubbing shoulders with greatness, I am.

2. SP Javier Vazquez, FLA: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Vazquez is looking to reclaim his status as one of the better pitchers in the game after his second turn as a Yankee was just as bad as his first. It's too early to speculate on his velocity, but the early results have to be promising for the Marlins who could be a sleeper in the NL East.

3. SP Derek Holland, TEX: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Holland certainly vaulted himself into being a favorite to win the No. 4 rotation spot in Texas with this outing. Reports had Holland looking electric, and he may be ready to fulfill his top prospect billing.

3 DOWN

1. SP Aaron Harang, SD: 3 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. Yuck. Harang (pictured) got blasted against his former team who dressed just one projected starter in Brandon Phillips, making this outing all the more worse. Harang felt he was simply too nervous. "You kind of want to go out there and do well against your old team," Harang told the Associated Press. "I guess I look at it that it's better to get it out of the way down here than having it happen the first time throwing against them during the season." At least, Harang hopes that's the reason. The Padres, too.

2. SP Scott Kazmir, LAA: 3 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 1 K. "What's Kaz doing here if he didn't give up any earned runs?" you ask. Did you happen to notice he coughed up nine baserunners in three innings? Kazmir also contributed an error when attempting a pickoff. The Angels will be very impatient with Kazmir after being nothing but a bust since the trade with Tampa Bay. The lefty says he's close to a breakthrough after simplifying his delivery. For his sake, we hope so.

3. 1B Miguel Cabrera, DET: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 2 K. Cabrera was in the news Wednesday for all the wrong reasons as details emerged about the night of Feb. 16, when it was exposed to the world that Miggy still had a drinking problem. It's been three weeks since the incident and Cabrera is apparently in the best shape of his life, but he's still hitting .174 on the spring. But remember: spring statistics aren't worth the pixels on the computer screen.

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Posted on: February 12, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2011 2:31 pm
 

Harang admits relief appearance derailed career

HarangUp until May 25, 2008, Aaron Harang was one of the better pitchers in the league.

As the workhorse ace of the Reds, Harang had been acquired in 2003 and served as a beacon of hope as the Reds attempted to climb the ladder of respectability. Through Harang's May 22 start in 2008 against the Padres, his career numbers showed 1,068 innings over 170 starts with a 4.10 ERA. This includes his early time with Oakland. But for the three seasons preceding 2008, Harang had a 3.77 ERA in 101 starts with 677 2/3 innings, giving him a reputation as a strong innings-eater. 

But right after turning 30 in 2008, Harang appeared in an extra-innings game on May 25, pitching innings 13-16 against the Padres. This came three days after his most recent start and he would be asked to start again four days later. In the start prior to the relief appearance, Harang had pitched 5 1/3 innings, coughing up five runs in what was one of his worst starts of the season. However, he only saw his ERA increase to 3.50 off the 103-pitch outing.

He didn't give up any runs in the relief outing over 63 pitches and was brilliant, striking out nine in the process, but coughed up six runs in four innings against the Pirates in his next start, tossing 73 pitches. That's 239 pitches over an eight-day span, by the way.

It would only get worse from there. In the 18 starts Harang made after the relief outing, his ERA was a sky-high 5.88 and he was never the same, spending a month on the disabled list for a forearm strain. He made just 26 starts in 2009 and 20 in 2010, combining for a 4.66 ERA over these 46 starts with 274 innings pitched. To compare, Harang made 35 starts in 2006, pitching 234 1/3 innings. That's a difference of 11 starts and just 39 2/3 innings. 

And now, Harang finally admits that relief outing is what derailed his career. Now a Padre, Harang is attempting to recapture the magic of days old, but Dusty Baker's bizarre pitching decisions may have claimed another victim.

"What it did," Harang said of the relief appearance to the San Diego Union-Tribune, "is fatigue me beyond the point of recovery. I started to change my arm angle to compensate for the fatigue and that’s when my forearm started to bother me.

"I feel like I’ve never been able to get back to the consistent, repetitive mechanics that I had," he continued. "The last couple of years have been, 'Try this, try that. Move your arm angle out a little.' I’ve had a couple of my old coaches call me, asking, 'What are you doing? You had so much success before doing the same thing. Now, all of a sudden, you’re turning your back on that?'

"I got away from my main thing, which is throwing my fastball and throwing everything off that. I got to thinking I’m going to trick people and it just didn’t work."

At just 32, Harang has time to turn it around. He's certainly picked a great park to do it in Petco, but unfortunately, Harang likely will never become the pitcher of old.

Meanwhile, Dusty Baker still has a job after wrecking yet another pitching career. Madness.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Tags: Aaron Harang
 
Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:59 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 9:02 pm
 

Harang happy to be home in San Diego

Aaron Harang The Padres lost one hometown boy on Monday, but gained another in pitcher Aaron Harang, who signed a one-year deal worth $3.5 million with a mutual option for 2012.

"There were other teams that had offers, but this was the best fit right now for me and my family," Harang told CBSSports.com. "It's also a great fit professionally, to pitch at Petco Park -- I go from one extreme (hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park) to another. I'm just comfortable in how it all worked out."

Harang's wife, Jennifer, is due with Twins in the next two weeks, which makes the timing even better.

"My family is so excited," Harang said. "I don't think you can wipe the smile off my grandmother's face for the next year."

The Padres hope they'll get the Harang of 2006 and 2007 -- in 2006 he led the National League in wins (16), starts (35), complete games (six) and strikeouts (216). The next season he had the same number of wins, fewer losses, lowered his ERA and struck out even more batters.

However, the last three years, the 32-year old has gone 18-38 with a 4.71 ERA.

A fly-ball pitcher, he's better suited to the spacious surroundings at Petco than the homer-happy Great American Ball Park.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com