Silver linings are few and far between for a futile Phillies team that is just 4-14 in June, entering Sundays game against the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s been so bad that Phillippe Aumont was sent to the mound Friday night and the last remnant of the ill-fated Cliff Lee trade walked seven Redbirds, who pounded the hulking righthander, who has been designated for assignment.
One of the few bright spots for the Phillies is another hulking righthander, Aaron Harang. Despite a recent rough patch, Harang has a 3.41 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP. Why was Harang so dominant in April and May?
“Because I didn’t get much of the plate,” Harang said. “That’s the key for me when I pitch. I have to hit my spots and I hit them early but I haven’t been so good at that lately. If I make mistakes and catch too much of the plate, bad things can happen. But my location has been good for the most part this season.”
Harang had a solid comeback season with the Braves in 2014 but drew little interest in the offseason. It still puzzles Harang, who settled for a one-year $5 million contract, why there wasn’t more interest in him.
“I’m still kind of baffled by that,” Harang said. “I pitched really well last year. You would think that I would have been more in demand. Maybe I could have waited and received a two-year deal.”
But Harang wanted to settle on a team and focus on baseball, not a potential multi-year contract.
“I just wanted to have my mind on baseball as early as possible,” Harang said. “I have no regrets. I’ve pitched pretty well. I feel good and I love this organization. I have great teammates. This was the right move.”
With July on the horizon, Harang realizes his tenure with the Phillies might be short since he is one of the Phillies few tradeable commodities.
“I’m aware of that but it’s not something I’m thinking about,” Harang said. “My focus is my next start. That’s all I can be concerned about. That’s where all my energy goes until I step on the mound. But I will say that I’m really enjoying it here.”
That’s so even though the Phillies have lost 11 of their last 12 games and 21 of their last 25?
“You never want to lose,” Harang said. “Losing is tough and I’m hoping we can turn things around here. We have some talent here. We can win and I believe we will win. I”m going to do my best to try and turn things around.”