Dan Haren took the mound Friday coming off a loss in his last start, but with reason to be optimistic. The veteran right-hander entered the game with a 4-1 record and 2.96 ERA, both of which are superior to what he’s done on the road.
Also working in Haren’s favor was him facing the San Diego Padres, who are statistically the worst team in baseball. As can happen, the trends didn’t work in Haren’s favor. He failed to make it out of the fifth inning, much less record an out after the fourth and suffered another loss.
Haren has been battling normal aches and pains that come with being in your 12th season, but said that wasn’t an issue in his latest poor outing, according to an AP report on ESPN:
I felt fine, but that doesn’t really mean much. Regardless of how I felt the results were terrible,” Haren said. “I’m just not getting it done for us. I’m searching right now. I went through a similar thing last year, but then the All-Star break came and I was able to kind of turn the page and string together some good ones.”
The 33-year-old is now 8-6 with a 4.23 ERA and resembles little of the pitcher that got off to a 4-0 start this season. Haren managed to turn back the clock a bit in his June 30 start against the Cleveland Indians where he allowed just one hit in seven innings.
Whether it emptied the tank can be argued as he’s suffered two consecutive losses and allowed a combined 12 earned runs. Haren went 3-1 in his first five starts after the All-Star break last season with the Washington Nationals.
However, he also skidded to a 3-3 finish to close out the season. If Haren is hopeful the All-Star break can again provide him with an opportunity to come out strong, he’ll face a tall order as teams in playoff contention are lined ahead.
Dependent on how many innings Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw throw in the All-Star game, which will dictate the Dodgers’ rotation in the second half, Haren could face any of the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates or San Francisco Giants out of the gate.
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