Reds pick Harang to start Opening Day
Righty's first Reds opener last year was his worst start, a 16-7 loss to Chicago Cubs.
By Hal McCoy
Sunday, March 18, 2007
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Bronson Arroyo is the cover boy on the 2007 Cincinnati Reds Media Guide, arms folded across his chest and long, blond hair touching the collar of his uniform jersey.
Because he was the Reds only All-Star and because he was voted the team's most outstanding pitcher by the Cincinnati baseball writers — not discounting his movie star looks and his guitar-playing concerts — he would look fine on the cover of GQ or Esquire.
That, though, doesn't earn him the Opening Day pitching assignment April 2 against the Chicago Cubs.
That prestigious appearance will be made by Aaron Harang for the second straight year. It is against the same team and he hopes it turns out better than last April's public hanging.
Harang gave up five runs in the first inning and it got worse from there en route to a 16-7 Reds defeat. It was Harang's worst start of the season, perhaps the worst of his career.
But he righted himself to go 16-11, tying for the most victories in the National League, with a 3.76 ERA and a league-best six complete games, earning him a second opportunity, a chance to make it right.
"It can't be any worse than last year — at least I hope it can't," said Harang.
Unlike the outgoing and flamboyant Arroyo, Harang is low-key, a vanilla kind of guy, until he steps on the mound, which is where he will be on Opening Day at Great American Ball Park, hoping to hold the Cubs to fewer than five runs for thegame, let alone the first inning.