Rich Harden dominates the Red Sox

March 26, 2008 at 7:18 am 3 comments

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AP Photo/David Guttenfelder

The Rich Harden we saw today is the same Rich Harden that has garnered Cy Young predictions in the past. Harden had no problem beating the powerhouse Red Sox this morning in Japan and we caught a glimpse of the stuff that, if healthy, could bring him back into the Cy Young conversation.

A quick look at Harden’s box score and you can tell he had a great game. He went 6 innings, throwing 60 of his 95 pitches for strikes, walking 3, allowing 3 hits (only one was for extra bases – a Manny Ramirez homer), one run, and striking out 9, only facing 5 batters above the minimum.

He was commanding his fastball extremely well to all 4 quadrants of the strike zone. He blew fastballs by yesterday’s rookie hero Brandon Moss and didn’t even need to throw his changeup or split. He did the same to Ramirez in his first at-bat and in the second at-bats he threw fastballs at him and Ramirez fought them off so Harden froze him with a change-up on the inside corner. Harden made Coco Crisp look like a little leaguer.

I was surprised to see Harden walk three hitter because it seemed as if he was throwing to a mit on a statue on 90% of his pitches. The three walks, I beleive, were Harden just staying away from a hitter’s zone and not giving in to a hitter, much like the Tom Glavine pitches.

Harden definitely has the stuff, the command, and the control to be one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball if healthy.

Harden has been rumored to be on the trading block and GM Billy Beane may get as much back for Harden as he got for Haren if Harden continues to stay on the mound. But, if the A’s keep playing the way they are (which isn’t likely due to the large amount of young players they have) Beane may just hold onto Harden and see what the team can do.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tom Humes  |  March 26, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Nice Site layout for your blog. I am looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Humes

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  March 26, 2008 at 7:51 am

    Thank you Tom! We greatly appreciate it!

    Reply
  • 3. Erik  |  March 26, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Harden has a career mark of 32- 18 and has a decent era. But he hasn’t pitched a full year since 2005. Harden has good velocity, and break and kind of reminds me of San Diego’s Chris Young. In order for the A’s to trade Harden he will command a hefty ransom. Even with all his injuries. I think it is a bit premature to put his name in the Cy Young talk but with Beckett hurt, Santana and Haren in the NL. It is possible for him to win the award. I don’t think Beane will trade this player this year. I think because his contract/age he will be with Oakland for a few years.

    Reply

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