Fresh off a dominating three-game sweep of the Giants that returned the Dodgers to first place in the NL West Division, the team begins a home stand with a three-game series against the Braves. Tonight’s first game matches the still ailing Josh Beckett, who with the swift decline of Dan Haren has now become an even more vital cog in the rotation, against former Dodger Aaron Harang, who has had big ups and big downs since the Dodgers gave him way in early 2013 for the over-the-hill Ramon Hernandez.
Harang was a decent 10-10 in 2012, but the club decided they did not need pitching depth the next spring, and sent Harang to Colorado, where they were quite happy to give the Dodgers Hernandez in exchange. In 17 embarrassingly bad appearances, he hit a robust
|.208, and while he only caught in 11 games, the damage in passed balls, stolen bases, and a statistically large number of what were ruled wild pitches (or were they?), brought about his release. Meanwhile, Harang didn't stick with the Rockies either, and had a short and unsuccessful stint in Seattle, but finished the season doing well with the Mets. This year in Atlanta, however, he go off to a sensational start of the season, helping to solidity the Braves injury-ravaged rotation, and at||
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With Haren having one bad outing after another for several weeks now, Becket is now the number four starter, and they vitally need him to bounce back from his less than satisfactory first game back from a brief stint on the DL. While pundits still say that the Dodgers have the best starting rotation around, and while one-through-three cannot be beat, the bottom of the rotation is in distress, and it’s no wonder that rumors areDodgers primary reason to the deal was just to keep him away from San Francisco.
The need for an additional starter was never really there until recently, and while I still say it would be a mistake the franchise will regret for a decade or more if they were to trade
Becket’s performance tonight may well determine if the Dodgers makes a major deal before Thursday’s deadline.