SAN DIEGO -- The last batter Padres pitcher Aaron Harang faced Tuesday with two outs in the seventh inning, the Cardinals' John Jay, didn't see a pitcher who looked the least bit beleaguered late in the game, as Harang fired three fastballs that were clocked at 92 mph. Harang hasn't just experienced success with the Padres -- he's 5-2 with a 3.96 ERA over his first 10 starts with San Diego -- he has also experienced an uptick in the velocity on his fastball, something that essentially went missing during his last two seasons with the Reds. "In his case, I think a lot of it has to do with Aaron's health and his mechanics," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We're seeing a lot of 91, 92, 93 miles per hour when he wants to get it."
Harang, who earned a no-decision Tuesday in his second attempt to win his sixth game of the season, has earned rave reviews from pitching coach Darren Balsley, who said that the San Diego native has been everything he thought he would be. Harang, who signed a free-agent deal with the Padres in December, has found new life on his fastball because of a refined delivery he and Balsley have worked on since the start of Spring Training in February. That refined delivery has led Harang back to a point where he can throw free and easy -- with a small spike in velocity. "I think that he is all the way back," Balsley said of Harang, who experienced shoulder and forearm issues during the 2007 season and struggled thereafter. "It shows up in his velocity and how he's been able to command the ball down. "I think it's a matter of him being healthy. He feels good and he's getting his delivery to where it used to me. A lot of it is being comfortable."