the last Matt Murton post

When They Pull a Knife, You Pull a Gun

UPDATE 4:56 CST: One of our readers tipped us to this fantastic piece on Rich Harden's mechanics (with video) by Carlos Gomez at The Hardball Times. Can't recommend it enough....


I've had a little time to digest the trade since my initial reaction and a little time to actually write about it now. I don't think there's too many warm-blooded Cubs fan out there who aren't happy about the deal...other than maybe a Chicken Little or two that are never happy with anything the Cubs do.

We all know the risks. Rich Harden has all the durability of a roll of toilet paper caught in a rainstorm. He was called up half way through the 2003 season, proceeded to make 31 starts in 2004 and has battled injuries ever since. The list is too long and complicated for me to dive into, so we'll wait for the good Dr. Hecht to chime in on that side of the trade. Harden's 13 starts this year are his highest total since 2005 and he spent almost a month of this year already on the disabled list. But in those 13 starts, he's gone 5-1
with a 2.34 ERA, 10.75 K/9, 2.97 K:BB and 0.58 HR/9.

He once had a fastball that could hit 100, although he seems to have dialed it back a bit this year. He compliments that fastball with a fantastic change-up and that's pretty much it. He'll occasionally throw a slider in there, but seems to have scrapped it for the most part this season. A quick and dirty comparison with some of the best in the game using career numbers:

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  • boston pitching snags a couple of mlb team records...

    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 15 min 53 sec ago view
  • What a loss to baseball, which I'm sure pales in comparison to the personal loss to his loved ones.

    Charlie 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • Somehow I am sensing alcohol was involved. The highest number of boating accidents by a wide margin...

    The E-Man 2 hours 43 min ago view
  • crunch 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • Reports this morning that Marlins' pitching ace Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident - just horrible news.

    Eric S 8 hours 18 min ago view
  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs

    link

    Arizona Phil 20 hours 32 min ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • And...now that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle

    crunch 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • ...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.

    he's staying in the game, though he's wringing his hand out during breaks in the action. aside from that he seems to have no issue giving signs or tossing back to the pitcher.

    ...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.

    crunch 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • his collapse started on august 21st this season...so it's a slight improvement.

    but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.

    crunch 1 day 3 hours ago view