With a 2-3 record in his last five starts, Dan Haren took the mound Saturday night as the Los Angeles Dodgers were looking to make up more ground on the San Francisco Giants, who had lost earlier in the day.
As has been the case in Haren’s starts recently, he gave up hits early and in Saturday’s game, the Arizona Diamondbacks put two runs on the board in the first inning. Five men came to the plate in the top of the first and the runs were scored on the 11th home run Haren has surrendered this season.
The right-hander then settled in, which allowed Dee Gordon to tie the game in the third with a two-run home run. While Haren allowed the Diamondbacks to take the lead in the fourth, he would hold them scoreless through the remainder of his outing.
Following the win, Haren acknowledged his slow starts, via ESPN LA’s Anthony Witrado:
It’s been that way for a long time now,” Haren said. “I’m not coming out that crisp. … It’s been that way for the last eight to 10 starts now. I’m making it hard on myself.”
Haren’s assessment of the situation is he isn’t getting batters to miss until the game progresses:
I’m not getting guys to swing and miss as much, but I’m getting more swings and misses as the game goes along.”
Haren not only improved on the mound after the rocky first inning, he also helped himself with a three-run double in the fourth. The hit was Haren’s first double this season and it was a moment he enjoyed:
That felt really good,” Haren said. “Anytime a pitcher can help himself out it feels good. … I’m just glad the bullpen made it hold up.”
Some of Haren’s losses can be attributed to the Dodgers failing to provide run support. Prior to Friday, the Dodgers hadn’t scored more than three runs in four of his last five starts. Granted, had Haren not hit his bases-clearing double the Dodgers may not have scored more than three runs once again.
Considering the Dodgers collected another win, that worry will can be put off for another time.
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