I like Lannan not because he's a nice guy or anything. I have no idea. I like Lannan because he defies expectations. This is his 7th year pitching in the majors an outside of the one which he was injured, he's beaten his xFIP in every one. He's doing it again this year (if you take out his pre-injury start he's got a 3.13 ERA actually). He's a living reminder that models don't work for everyone. They can't work for everyone. That's not how models behave. There are somethings out there in baseball that we still can't explain. That doesn't mean you should disregard the models for everyone else. That's dumb. But it does mean there can be someone that defies the model. That there's hope that a guy you like or a guy your team needs to perform, can come through despite what the numbers tell you, not because of something silly like guts or heart or even "luck", but because the story the numbers tell is still incomplete.
You'd be foolish not to believe what the numbers say, to plan accordingly. But you're not stupid to hold out hope the numbers are wrong in this one particular situation.
Haren pitched well last night. Once that data is in I'll come back and do a post to see if he did anything differently or if it was just one of those nights where he caught a break.