Harang Bests The Masterson.
Aaron Harang had a chance to show me what he was made of tonight, and he did not disappoint. Well…He created a little disappointment within because he defeated the Red Sox, but objectively speaking, he lived up to his underrated hype. His fastball has some distinctive movement on it, and he throws hard which makes it that much harder to pick up on. The Red Sox lineup was not familiar with Harang, so he had that going for him. But Drew had faced him seven times going into tonight, and Harang still made him look bad on two occasions, and not particularly good on the other one either. Mike Lowell, also coming from the NL, did have one hit but it was only a single. He made three outs to go along with that one bagger Seven strikeouts, zero walks, and four hits for Harang, not bad, not bad at all. He is much better than his meaningless record indicates, and is a better pitcher than what his ERA represented coming into the game.
On the other side of the hill, Masterson did not disappoint either. Allowed seven baserunners, three earned, in just one out short of seven innings. But he struck out nine, and his ERA now sits at 2.90. There is no such thing as too much pitching, trust me on that, and depth in general. And although Masterson may end up in the pen, and almost definitely will down the stretch run for this season, he has shown that he can be an effective starter (some signs of it anyway). That is if the organization chooses to pursue that direction for him down the road.
I knew that this would be a tough series going in. Harang is a good pitcher. I didn’t count this as a loss, but it ended up being one. Tomorrow they get Edinson Volquez, a pitcher they have never seen who is pitching “lights out” baseball and that may be an understatement. Let me reiterate that, it is definitely an understatement. Granted, the Reds aren’t very familiar with Wake’s knuckler, but if it isn’t doing much in the dancing department, then it won’t matter too much. And Sunday they get “Doh” Bailey. A promising young starter who hasn’t fulfilled that promise yet, just needs some time. I am not too worried about facing Bailey, but I am Volquez. 96 strikeouts in 81 innings doesn’t build up my confidence, that is for sure.