Haren sits at 174 innings, which means he could very well hit 180 innings on the season on Monday night, which would turn his $10 million 2015 club option into a player option. Haren will also earn a $500,000 bonus this year for reaching 180 innings, but most of the angst surrounding his climb toward 180 innings stemmed toward committing another year to an up-and-down pitcher who will be 34 and looked at times like a right-handed final stage Ted Lilly.
He looked so bad seven weeks ago, after a 14-start stretch with 19 home runs allowed and a 6.04 ERA, culminating in a five-start losing streak that saw him allow 27 runs in 23 innings, that the thought of him even pitching well enough or deep enough in games to reach 180 innings seemed far-fetched.
But to Haren's credit, he has righted the ship, and then some. After an Aug. 1 loss, the end of his five-start losing streak, Haren is 5-2 with a 2.47 ERA in eight starts, with 39 strikeouts and eight walks in 47 innings. He's striking out batters again - 21.4 percent - and lasting deeper into games - lasting six innings or longer in six of those eight starts, just like he was at the start of the year when he lasted six innings 11 times in his first 12 starts, and went 5⅔ innings in the other game.
Even if Haren doesn't reach the 180-inning mark on Monday night, he will pitch again during the weekend against the Rockies, so that option is as good as vested.
And Haren's earned it.
Another second-half turnaround on the mound Monday night is Jake Peavy, who has been everything the Giants hoped for and more since arriving from the Red Sox.
Peavy was pitching deep enough into games for Boston, lasting six innings or more 17 times in 20 starts, but he didn't pitch all that well either with a 4.72 ERA and peripherals to match. He lost nine straight decisions, including not a single win for Boston in June and July with him on the mound before he was traded to San Francisco.
The Dodgers beat Peavy to complete a sweep in San Francisco on July 27 in his Giants debut, and San Francisco lost his first three starts. But in one of those starts he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and since then has been lights out.
Peavy in is last seven starts has allowed 10 total runs, going 6-1 with a 1.13 ERA, 39 strikeouts and just eight walks in 48 innings. As a Giant, Peavy has averaged 6⅔ innings per start, looking like the Peavy of old.
That Peavy of old was 7-1 with a 2.85 ERA in 13 career starts at Dodger Stadium. Twelve of those starts came in 2009 or earlier, though Peavy did deliver a complete-game win against the Dodgers with Boston last Aug. 25, allowing just one run on three hits.
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, KDOC, MLB Network