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Thread: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    Harang to start Opening Day
    Listen to this article or download audio file.Click-2-Listen

    By Hal McCoy

    Staff Writer

    Saturday, March 01, 2008

    SARASOTA, Fla. It isn't stop-the-presses news, or even front-page news, but in case there was one doubter out there yes, Aaron Harang is the Opening Day pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.

    When Harang started Saturday's March 1 game against Pittsburgh, a wild, wind-blown 12-11 victory, it put him on perfect alignment to pitch Opening Day against Arizona, his third straight Opening Day assignment.

    Even though he was 16-6 last season, following up on a 16-11 season, manager Dusty Baker thinks there are even better things stuffed in that 6-7, 275-pound body.

    "Everybody can be better," said Baker. "I wasn't here to see him last year, but I saw him pitch against me (Chicago Cubs) and he throws strike one, keeps the ball down and minimizes pitches, which I like a lot. He rarely has high pitch counts deep in the game because he is a pitch conservationist. He doesn't go 0-2, then to 3-2 because he is picking."

    Harang retired the first four Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday at Ed Smith Stadium, then gave up a walk and two doubles for two runs in the second inning. Tons of runs later, after Pittsburgh scored four in the top of the ninth for a 11-10 lead, Scott Hatteberg blooped a game-ending single to left field.

    As Baker says, Harang knows there is room for improvement, which is why he spent the winter working on his change-up, "And everybody seems to think it's better this year."

    Even though it was his first competition against another team and Opening Day is nearly four weeks away, Harang still gets revved up over it.

    "It's a big deal in Cincinnati, even though we don't get to be part of the parade and we're sort of behind the scenes, you can tell by the crowd, it's special."

    As for his outing, Harang said, "After I put a runner on as you know, walks kill you the adrenaline started pumping, but I'm still getting the feel for things and trying to calm the heart rate down from being back out there. The heart pumps, even in spring training, when you get into key situations."

    New advance scout

    Shawn Pender resigned last week as head baseball coach at St. Joseph's and immediately signed as an advance scout with the Reds. He has a baseball background as a former crosschecker/scout with the Baltimore Orioles.

    Pender was 41-116 in three seasons with the Hawks and tossed in his spikes after William & Mary swept his team in four games to open the season.

    Careful with Castro

    One of the candidates to replace Alex Gonzalez is veteran shortstop Juan Castro, but he is coming off Tommy John elbow surgery. He is doing everything asked of him, participating in drills and games, but Baker is going easy with him.

    "I'm trying not to use him two days in a row, if I don't have to," said Baker. I've seen him throw the ball well, but we have to make sure he keeps progressing and not overdo anything to set him back."

    Castro started at short Saturday and the first Pittsburgh batter, Nyjer Morgan, hit one deep into the hole and Castro threw him out easily. And he had a run-scoring single in the second.

    Quotes of the day

    A young reporter asked manager Dusty Baker if he thought Jay Bruce was pressing and Baker, knowing Bruce was hitting .571 at the time, was taken aback as he said, "I can't see him pressing at all, man. If I was hitting like he's hitting there is no need to press."

    Melissa Griffey arrived in the players parking lot Saturday, her first appearance this spring, threw her arms around husband Ken Griffey Jr.'s neck and said, "I can't wait to see you play," then right on cue Griffey hit a two-run homer on his first at-bat.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/con...snotesweb.html

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  3. #2
    Member red-in-la's Avatar
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Harang to start Opening Day
    Listen to this article or download audio file.Click-2-Listen

    By Hal McCoy

    Staff Writer

    Saturday, March 01, 2008

    SARASOTA, Fla. — It isn't stop-the-presses news, or even front-page news, but in case there was one doubter out there — yes, Aaron Harang is the Opening Day pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.
    .
    .
    .

    Careful with Castro

    One of the candidates to replace Alex Gonzalez is veteran shortstop Juan Castro, but he is coming off Tommy John elbow surgery. He is doing everything asked of him, participating in drills and games, but Baker is going easy with him.

    "I'm trying not to use him two days in a row, if I don't have to," said Baker. I've seen him throw the ball well, but we have to make sure he keeps progressing and not overdo anything to set him back."

    Castro started at short Saturday and the first Pittsburgh batter, Nyjer Morgan, hit one deep into the hole and Castro threw him out easily. And he had a run-scoring single in the second.

    "Is there a problem officers?"

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    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    The history of Harang's 1st start of the year for the REDS...

    * The REDS have a 4-1 record. Harang is also 4-1. Only loss was to Dusty Baker's Cubs in 2006 (a 16-7 thrashing).
    * The REDS avg. 6.4 runs/game.
    * Harang... 3.00 ERA, 1.27 WHIP.
    * In 30 IP Harang has only 1 HR allowed.
    * Dunn has hit 4 HRs.
    * Losing opposition pitchers are Carlos Zambrano, Oliver Perez, Kaz Ishii and JOSH FOGG.
    * Harang's 1st start as a REDS player (2003): Reggie Taylor entered the game as a pinch runner in the seventh and stayed in the game. Juan Castro led off the eighth with a single, and Jaret Wright issued 1 out walks to Adam Dunn and D'Angelo Jimenez to load the bases. Mike Matthews came in and Taylor put a 1-1 pitch over the right-center wall for a grand slam.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966 View Post
    The history of Harang's 1st start of the year for the REDS...

    * Harang's 1st start as a REDS player (2003): Reggie Taylor entered the game as a pinch runner in the seventh and stayed in the game. Juan Castro led off the eighth with a single, and Jaret Wright issued 1 out walks to Adam Dunn and D'Angelo Jimenez to load the bases. Mike Matthews came in and Taylor put a 1-1 pitch over the right-center wall for a grand slam

    He wasn't called Rally Time for nothing.
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rally-...24872650873160

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    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    He wasn't called Rally Time for nothing.
    Yep. And of course the REDS brainiacs(?) decided "the victim" of that Reggie Taylor smash needed to be a REDS pitcher the following year. Mike Matthews lasted for 35 relief appearances that amounted to a 6.30 ERA, 1.57 WHIP and 7 HRS allowed in 30 IP during the REDS 2004 season.

    You'd think that Reggie GS would have been an indicator to not sign the man as a pitcher. On the otherhand I guess it cannot get much worse than that.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  7. #6
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    He wasn't called Rally Time for nothing.
    I remember a certain poster here who wanted to keep Taylor and dump Dunn because Taylor was clutch
    Go Gators!

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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    A young reporter asked manager Dusty Baker if he thought Jay Bruce was pressing and Baker, knowing Bruce was hitting .571 at the time, was taken aback as he said, "I can't see him pressing at all, man. If I was hitting like he's hitting there is no need to press."

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/con...snotesweb.html
    I beleive one of our posters said pretty much the exact same thing after Bruce made an out today.

  9. #8
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    I can't wait until we can complain about the lineup...

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    Member crazybob60's Avatar
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    Well, more surprisingly than Harang getting the Opening Day nod is that this is only his third opening day nod in his career. I thought for sure he had more than this but I was wrong. Did a little research and was curious how many innings he pitched each time out and how many pitches thrown he had. Just remember that in 2006 he was hampered by the blowout that the Cubs were hammering us with, then in 2007 I bet he would have gone the distance but he had just thrown too many pitches. That's what worries me this season is that sometimes Dusty Baker, at least from previous experience really doesn't seem to go by that notion and I hope he not only doesn't hurt the young guns arms that are coming up but also the strong arms that are already here such as Aaron Harang. Here are those line stats....

    4/3/2006 5 IP CHC 16-7 Loss 100 Pitches 67 Strikes
    4/2/2007 7 IP CHC 5-1 Won 112 Pitches 75 Strikes

    As for 2008's performance, let's just hope for a mark in the victory column and that Harang's pitch count doesn't go through the roof.

    The season is still about a month off and why am I already worrying about pitch counts....geez!!!!

  11. #10
    Member kheidg-'s Avatar
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    I'm waiting to see Bruce get into a game at CF rather than RF.

    If he makes the team, he will be expected to play CF. All I have seen thus far is Freel, Hopper and Dickerson.

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    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by kheidg- View Post
    I'm waiting to see Bruce get into a game at CF rather than RF.

    If he makes the team, he will be expected to play CF. All I have seen thus far is Freel, Hopper and Dickerson.
    Bruce will be in Louisville for his first game of the year. It will be a shame too.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

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    Member Tom Servo's Avatar
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    I'd have started Richie Gardner on Opening Day. Imagine the look on the Diamondbacks faces!
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

  14. #13
    Member kheidg-'s Avatar
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpup View Post
    Bruce will be in Louisville for his first game of the year. It will be a shame too.
    I'm thinking so too, and the lack of any PT so far in CF says a lot. It's early in the spring yet, but...

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    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    I'd have started Richie Gardner on Opening Day. Imagine the look on the Diamondbacks faces!
    I imagine it would be a look of licking their chops.

  16. #15
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: No surprise here: Harang to start Opening Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    I imagine it would be a look of licking their chops.
    Maybe we could shock them into swinging at everything, now they will hit about half of it but at least there won't be any walks
    Go Gators!


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