It was unlikely that Aaron Harang was going to continue to pitch at the level he had been early on this season. Before his June 4 start against his former team, the Cincinnati Reds, Harang was 4-5 with a 2.02 ERA, 53 strikeouts, 15 walks, and had held opponents to a .215 bating average.
In his last two starts, both coming against the Reds, the 37-year-old is 0-2 with a 9.26 ERA in 11.2 innings-pitched. In addition, Reds hitters have a .283 average against him along with a .377 OBP and a .986 OPS.
The once stellar number two starter for the Phillies has hit a bump in the road, and has been ineffective against the team he spent eight of his 13 big-league seasons with.
In last night’s start, it was Joey Votto and Todd Frazier who got the better of Harang, as the two combined to go 6-9 with four home runs and five RBIs, leading the Reds to a 11-2 rout of the Phillies.
Votto did the heavy lifting for the Reds, belting three home runs and driving in four.
Harang has struggled in his career against the Reds. In seven starts against them, he is 3-3 with a 4.71 ERA, and has given up six home runs.
He has also struggled in his former home ballpark, posting a 38-41 record and a 4.24 ERA in 116 career starts at Great American Ballpark. He has also surrendered 113 home runs in 724.1 innings-pitched in a ballpark that is notoriously hitter-friendly.
Home runs had not been an issue for the 6’7″ right-hander this season, as he had given up only four before last night’s contest. That number has now doubled to eight thanks to Votto and Frazier.
Harang had been one of the few bright spots for the Phillies and its starting rotation this season. Thanks to the Reds, that bright spot is starting to dim, and the rotation looks uglier than ever.