Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stat Line of the Day: April 13th

D. Haren (LAA): CG, SO, 1 H, 2 BB, 8 K vs. Indians
Is Haren, 30, headed towards his first major award?
It's been a good two weeks to be Dan Haren. In his first three starts for the Los Angeles Angels, he's 3-0 with a nice 0.73 ERA and an 0.53 WHIP, to go along with 21 strikeouts against only two walks. Last year, Haren got off to a slower start (a 3.60 ERA after three starts, and a 5.35 after 11) with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but this year is quite different. Last night was the best start we've seen in the majors so far, with Haren throwing a one-hitter and striking out eight Indians (seven different batters), for a gamescore of 91. What's interesting about Haren's record is that he has it despite getting a no-decision in his first start (a 7-inning, 1-run, 67-gamescore debut against the Kansas City Royals). How? Well, when the Angels were stuck in a 14-inning battle against the Blue Jays back on April 9th, Haren found himself pitching the final inning before watching his team give him the victory in the bottom of the 14th. It's nice to be able to help your team in a long game like that, it's nicer when you get a win out of it, and nicer still when you can go out just two days later and throw 125 pitches (79 strikes) en route to the start of the year so far. It's obviously far too early to start predicting awards, but Dan Haren has given himself a nice boost to the top of the early AL Cy Young watch.

Honorable Mentions:

P. Gasol (LA Lakers): 17 points (7-12 FG), 17 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block vs. Spurs
With the Lakers in a late-season swoon, losing five in a row before last night's game against the Spurs, Los Angeles needed a good performance from someone other than Kobe. Pau Gasol was there to answer the call, pulling down 11 of his 14 rebounds on the defensive end, and the points and assists were a nice contribution on the offensive side of the ball. Yes, the Spurs were resting Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili for the playoffs, so this wasn't exactly beating the same team that had the best record in the Western Conference. However, it's nice just to see that W get back up on the scoreboard, and give you a little feeling of momentum heading towards the playoffs.

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