Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rich Harden looks strong in win.

Rich Harden pitched well in his first start of the season, receiving win in a 5-1 game over Boston.

Harden struck out nine and gave up three hits in six innings, the only run against him coming off a two-out home run by Manny Ramirez in the sixth inning.

The only problem Harden had was being inefficient with his pitches, only throwing 63% of his pitches for strikes. Harden walked three and needed 95 pitches to get through six innings.

This is good news for those taking a chance on Harden being able to stay healthy through the whole season. When healthy, Harden has the ability to be one of the more dominant pitchers in baseball. In 317.2 innings from 2004-2005, Harden had a 3.42 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and a 8.16 K/9 rate.

On another note, Oakland outfielder Emil Brown hit a home run in the same game against starter Jon Lester. Brown offers little value, but he might have some value against lefthanders for those in deeper leagues with daily transactions. Last year, Brown hit .317 against lefthanders. I almost picked up Brown for today's game because he was facing a lefty. I don't recommend picking him up unless you're desperate, but some value is there.

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