Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

dan haren cubsPretty into this first season of ‘Mr. Robot’. Story is interesting, direction is fantastic, and the way it reveals information is just a bit different than you’re used to (even if you might be able to predict that information at times).

  • Yesterday’s game was an incredible comeback, and an extremely fun and fortunate win. I don’t want to lose sight of that. But with yesterday turning into today, I’m ready to veer back into the early innings of the game, where once again, Dan Haren was not particularly effective.
  • And it was mostly for the same reason that’s been his bugaboo all year: homers. Haren, who gives up an extreme amount of fly balls, is also giving up a high percentage of homers relative to his fly ball rate. That’s a combination that yields a super high 1.70 HR per nine innings, the fourth highest mark in baseball. In four starts with the Cubs, though, the problem has become borderline comical: 3.26 HR/9. Yes, in just 19.1 innings, Haren has allowed 7(!) homers. What’s particularly troubling is, as noted, this isn’t really a flukey thing for a guy who no longer notches strikeouts, yields a lot of hard contact, and is a fly ball pitcher. Ok, yes, the extent to which it’s happened in these four games is probably a bit flukey. But home runs are going to be an issue – probably a significant one.

  • So far, the Haren addition has not been all that useful for the Cubs: in his four starts and 19.1 innings, he’s posted a 6.05 ERA and a 6.64 FIP. The 18.2% K rate/3.4% BB rate combo looks nice on paper, but it doesn’t matter much when the rest of the time you’re giving up shots.
  • For his part, Joe Maddon espoused plenty of support for Haren after the game (CSN), so don’t expect any changes.
  • Haren went just 4.1 innings, which, by the way …

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