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Per Season Averages (2005-11): 3.49 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 7.8 K/9, 90.8 MPH fastball
Per Season Averages (2012-13): 4.67 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 7.0 K/9, 88.9 MPH fastball
As mentioned in this article and as evidenced by this game log (which doesn't even document his three hit batters and two wild pitches), there had to have been something horrifyingly wrong with Dan Haren in order for the Cubs to back out of trading Carlos Marmol to acquire him this past offseason.
When he went on the disabled list in July of last season, he admitted that his back pain had him pitching "at about 70 percent."
(If you've never had back problems, I can promise they don't just go away with rest. I'm writing this article with a heat pad on a portion of my back that I injured six years ago and already dreading next Monday's softball double-header. I couldn't imagine trying to fight through back and hip pains six times a month to perform at a big-league level.)
When asked about how Tuesday's rain-out would affect his routine in the rotation, Haren was quoted as saying, "I'll take extra days anytime I can get them. I've had plenty of years of throwing every five days. It stinks."
His velocity is up a bit from where it was last season, but he's still more than two MPH slower than he was in 2007. We can't blame everything on the speed, though. His fastball is coming in at 89.4 MPH on average this season, but his average speed was just 89.8 MPH in 2011 when he had a 3.17 ERA and three complete game shutouts.
There's something more sinister at work here. His strikeouts are down and his BABIP and HR/FB rate are at career worsts. If he didn't have a lower walk rate than just about every other season in his career, his ERA would be even higher than the 5.17 at which it's currently sitting.
At a certain point, those numbers go beyond simply being unlucky to simply being unable to get it done any longer. Although, I'm pretty sure the Nationals would rather take their chances with Haren every fifth day than watch Carlos Marmol implode on a regular basis.