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Friday, July 25, 2008

Harden Moves to Top Team in NL, Can't Get a W

Rich Harden has been one of the best strikeout starting pitchers in the game in recent years...well, he has been during those rare times not spent on the DL. After playing in only 16 games through the entire '06 & '07 seasons, Harden had 13 solid starts for Oakland in '08, going 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA, and averaging 10.93 K's/9IP. The A's then decided to leverage this streak of good health and trade Harden to the Cubs, getting away from the potential gamble that they've already endured (and lost) for the past few seasons.

Since moving Chicago, Harden has been better than ever for the NL-leading Cubs. In two starts, he has a 0.73 ERA, and he's averaging 14.60 K's/9Ip. Oh, and he's 0-1! In his first start against the Giants, he left the game in the 6th leading 7-0. His relievers then allowed 7 runs, pushing the game into extra innings, robbing him of the W. In his 2nd start against the D-Backs, he allowed just 1 run in 7 IP, but was outdueled by Randy Johnson, resulting in a 2-0 loss. This guy just can't catch a break!

Harden's 02 Bowman Chrome RC has been averaging $14.90 TAC this month. His BC Ref RC #'d 500 has been selling in the $29-34 range.
I think that Harden has the talent to be a perennial Cy Young contender, but unfortunately his time spent on the DL has really marred his hobby popularity. If he can stay healthy for consecutive seasons, collectors will probably start to snatch up his cards with a fury, but until then, I don't expect to see his values reaching much higher levels and sustaining.

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