On Saturday, May 2nd Dan Haren could have struck out a tee-ball hitter, looking. He was on. Locked in. In fact, Haren has been on and locked in for every single start this season, though his 3-3 record leads you to believe differently.
In Haren's three losses, he's allowed only four runs on 12 hits while striking out 17 batters in 19 innings. His shortest start this season has been 6 innings, he's thrown a complete game and averages more than seven innings per start.
On the young season Haren leads the National League in strikeouts, innings pitched, and complete games, while trailing only Johan Santana for the NL's best ERA with 1.47. He averages under 14 pitches per inning and under four pitches per batter faced. Incredible.
The season is young, but I'm beginning to believe Dan Haren is the best pitcher in baseball. Since 2005 as a starter, Haren has averaged 14.75 wins and 33.75 game starts per season, while pitching over 200 innings each year. In each of these last four complete seasons his strikeout totals have increased, with a career high 206 Ks a year ago.
He's one of the most consistent pitchers in the game and he's not even the No. 1 starter on his own team. It's only a matter of time (and health) before Dan Haren adds his own Cy Young Award to the Diamondbacks' ridiculous collection, accumulating five over the last 10 seasons.