The Padres have finalized their contract with Aaron Harang. According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, it turns out he’ll receive a one-year, $3.5 million contract with a mutual option for 2012.
Harang, a San Diego-native, is 18-38 with a 4.71 ERA since finishing fourth on the ballot for the National League Cy Young in 2007. The 32-year-old right-hander went 6-7 with a 5.32 ERA over 22 games (20 starts) with the Reds this past season and was left off the team’s postseason roster for the NLDS against the Phillies.
Harang’s peripherals, which have been pretty healthy in the past, took a bit of a slide this past season, but he’s well worth signing at these terms. While his flyball tendencies hurt him at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him rebound next season pitching half of his games at the cozy confines of PETCO Park.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.