Harden trade update

By Jason Wojciechowski on July 13, 2008 at 10:26 PM

Eric Patterson continued to make his case as the better Patterson brother and a valuable member of the Harden trade as he went 3-4 with a double, a homer, and two walks in leading Sacramento to a 12-2 win over Anaheim's AAA outfit. Danny Putnam tried to stifle claims of his demise by hitting his 13th homer of the year. The 25-year-old outfielder is hitting a robust .357/.505 despite a batting average of just .264. That's nice power for the lefty swinger trying to redeem himself after pitiful showings at AAA and the majors last year.

Josh Donaldson, meanwhile, also went 3-4 with a double and a homer, but with no walks, as Stockton managed 12 runs in their own win. However, backing up the claims that Donaldson's trouble is behind the plate, not at it, he had his third passed ball of the year. I'm not sure, but I think that's only counting the three games he's caught in the Cal League. He's hitting .500/.538/.833 in his first twelve at-bats, which is a hell of a way to make an impression, but he's going to have to start actually catching the ball if he wants to have a future with the A's.

Meanwhile, at the big-league level, Rich Harden made his Cubs debut. It was the best of times and the worst of times, though, as he struck out ten in 5 1/3 innings, but he only lasted 5 1/3 innings, throwing 96 pitches in that time. He also had his lowest proportion of swing-and-misses since a May 28 game against the Blue Jays -- that's an odd stat given ten strikeouts out of 24 batters. Of course, the Cubs also blew a seven-run lead before coming back to win the game in extra innings, so Harden was robbed off the win he deserved. Chad Gaudin relieved Harden, inheriting two runners but stranding both in pitching two thirds of an inning before yielding to lesser pitchers like Kevin Hart. (Harden, by the way, was 0-3 with three whiffs in the game.)

Thunder Matt Murton was less than thunderous, going 0-4 in a 4-1 loss to the Angels.