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Aaron Harang, Offensive Road Woes, and BABIP

“Yes, PETCO Park is a hitter’s nightmare. And, yes, the Brewers’ offense just hasn’t been the same this year away from Miller Park.

But no runs against Aaron Harang and his 5.05 earned run average in eight innings? Really? This is what it has come to?” —Tom Haudricourt

Aaron Harang’s starts this year:

4/5 vs San Francisco: 6 IP 6 H 1 R 1 ER 2 BB 6 K
4/10 vs Los Angeles: 6 IP 3 H 2 R 1 ER 2 BB 2 K
4/15 at Houston: 6 IP 3 H 1 R 1 ER 1 BB 8 K
4/20 at Chicago: 6 IP 9 H 2 R 2 ER 0 BB 5 K
4/26 vs Atlanta: 6 IP 7 H 8 R 8 ER 3 BB 2 K
5/2 vs Pittsburgh: 5 IP 5 H 4 R 4 ER 2 BB 4 K
5/8 vs Arizona: 7 IP 8 H 2 R 2 ER 1 BB 2 K
5/14 at Colorado: 4.1 IP 9 H 7 R 7 ER 4 BB 3 K

Harang’s ERA before the start in Colorado? 4.07. Following his start Thursday night, Harang has a FIP of 4.19. He’s not some scrub. He’s a fine bottom-of-the-rotation big league starter. He’s basically Randy Wolf or 2010 Chris Narveson.

Yes, the Brewers’ offense has sputtered on the road this year, but like our friends at Bernie’s Crew said this morning, let’s not confuse descriptive stats with predictive stats.

I mentioned it on Twitter a couple nights ago, but a lot of the Brewers’ road woes could just be chalked up to bad luck — they’re hitting .220/.279/.333 on the road this year, but they’re only hitting .256 on balls in play. Simply put, the hits aren’t falling in like they should. Compare that to their success at home. They’re hitting .305/.374/.499 at Miller Park, thanks in large part to a .347 BABIP. That’s bordering on absurdly lucky.

Over the course of a season, these things even out. The 2010 Brewers finished with a triple slash line of .259/.336/.430 (on a .295 BABIP) at home and a line of .265/.334/.418 (.312 BABIP) on the road. The 2009 Brewers hit .257/.338/.437 (.295 BABIP) at home and .268/.344/.415 (.315 BABIP) on the road. You can go back as far as you like, but you aren’t going to find a Brewers squad that had a .256 BABIP on the road for an entire season.

It’s hard to watch right now, but things will get better. You’ll all just have to trust me on this.