Chicago Cubs: Who would be the No. 3 starter in the playoffs?
Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Dan Haren – 10-9, 3.67 ERA, 181 1/3 IP, 37 BB/129 K’s (MIA/CHC)
Haren may be the wild card in the Wild Card. Since coming over to Chicago, he’s been anything but impressive. But then again the continuity at the No. 5 spot in the rotation was iffy at best and he as worth the low-risk acquisition. After scuffling along, allowing a lot of home runs, Haren suddenly seems to have found a fountain of youth.
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Seven shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sept. 7, then 7 1/3 against the Reds on Tuesday. He’s allowed just one home run in his last four outings and is working at a much quicker pace. Whether it was something suggested by Chris Bosio or a move on his own, it was apparent against the Reds. Haren got the ball from Miguel Montero, got the sign and made his pitch. He shook him off very few times if at ever. It led to a dominant outing–even if it was the last place Reds.
Haren does have postseason experience, although he hasn’t been there since 2006 with the Oakland A’s. He’s looked much improved in his past four starts and could be sliding his name up on the list for a start in game two of the NLDS. He’s a 10-year veteran and given the chance Maddon may decide to use that experience.
PREDICTION: With possibly one more start for Haren, he could be the unknown in this decision. Up until his last few outings, I wasn’t even sure he would be on the postseason roster. But he’s making as solid a case for the shot as any of the three.
Next: Maybe none of the above?