1 and 1A

By acquiring Dan Haren the Diamondbacks front office made it clear that this team could legitimately contend for a world series title as soon as this year. Placing a clear cut AL ace in Haren alongside one of the game’s best and most consistent in Brandon Webb would provide quite the formidable 1-2 punch.

Almost two months into the season, Webb and Haren have been more than a 1-2 punch; they have been a 1-1A punch, with Webb pitching out of this world and Haren performing like a true ace. In fact, some of their stats are pretty similar too. Take a look.

Brandon Webb
9-0, 2.56 ERA, 2.70 FIP, 0.99 WHIP, 2.88 K/BB
9 GS, 63.1 IP, 46 H, 17 BB, 49 K
70.3% LOB, .253 BABIP, .293 xBABIP
17.3/65.4/17.3 LD/GB/FB (Career: 18.2/64.3/17.5)

Dan Haren
5-2, 3.14 ERA, 3.13 FIP, 0.98 WHIP, 4.50 K/BB
9 GS, 57.1 IP, 46 H, 10 BB, 45 K
68.0% LOB, .260 BABIP, .303 xBABIP
18.3/47.6/34.1 LD/GB/FB (Career: 19.5/45.0/35.5)

Both prevent runners from reaching base but are slightly below average in stranding them. They are also each about forty percentage points better in the BABIP department than their line drive rate would suggest. Webb and Haren have also changed their pitch selection and frequency. Webb is throwing 3% less fastballs and 3% less curveballs; the difference is made up by a 6% increase in changeup usage. Haren, on the other hand has replaced 4% of his splitters/changeups with fastballs.

One glaring difference between the two can be found in their leverage splits. Here are Webb’s:

High: 48 PA, .100/.208/.175, 10 K
Med: 132 PA, .192/.244/.233, 22 K
Low: 75 PA, .264/.293/.347, 17 K

And Haren’s:

High: 31 PA, .308/.367/.462, 6 K
Med: 90 PA, .253/.303/.386, 18 K
Low: 105 PA, .168/.184/.248, 21 K

It seems Webb gets better as the importance level rises whereas Haren performs better as the importance level lessens. Give me Webb over Haren with one game to make or break a season, but give me Webb and Haren over other twosomes, at least right now, with two games on the line.

Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.

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14 years ago

This is exactly what the Mariners thought they were doing when they traded for Eric Bedard – put his alongside King Felix and you have a 1-2 punch to contend in a short playoff series (assuming they make it to the playoffs in the first place with a overall improved rotation etc)

Didnt work out.

My question is – why is King Felix still a “king” ? Shouldn’t it be King Brandon or King Dan Haren ? Felix for all the hype has not perfomed anywhere close to expectations – like Brandon or Dan Haren whom you point out in the post. Also, Bedard has not taken the world by storm either.