Saturday, June 16, 2007
When the A's traded Mark Mulder, they made sure that they acquired Dan Haren in the deal. At the time of the deal, I thought "why Haren?" But looking back on the deal you can see why Beane asked for him. Haren was not just a lucky breakout player, he put up consistent numbers in the minors and when he came up with the Cardinals, he had good strikeout numbers and was able to shutdown good teams. What has also led to Haren's success is a good offensive team, above average bullpen, and a low media environment where he can grow into a good ballplayer, which he has. So what the A's need now is a strong outfield and another strong pitcher behind Haren. Haren was able to dominate the Cardinals tonight, going seven strong innings and giving up two earned runs. He is now 8-2 with a 1.64 ERA. But Haren really didn't have to do much. Every player that started got a hit, and the 2-3-4 batters combined for six RBIs. Braden Looper has started to slow down, now 6-6. And the bullpen hasn't only got worse as the seasons gone on. The A's are now four games out of first and have the opportunity to make up some ground with five more home games against St. Louis and then Cincinnati.