With the Los Angeles Dodgers looking to avoid being swept at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers, Dan Haren took the mound with some momentum behind him.
Haren had put together two consecutive wins after losing five straight decisions. In each of his wins, the right-hander went at least six innings and allowed a combined three runs. On Sunday, it was evident Haren was set for a rough outing.
The Brewers jumped out to a 2-0 lead behind Jonathan Lucroy’s two-run home run in the first inning. Haren struck out the side and found himself in more trouble the following inning, though an error also made the inning more difficult.
Haren allowed six runs, three earned, in three innings but was confident his loss wouldn’t trigger another string of bad outings, according to Kevin Baxter of the LA Times:
For me personally, it’s just one game. I just have to regather myself. I’m confident it’s not going to turn into something like before, when I had a couple of bad ones in a row.”
Manager Don Mattingly also expressed confidence Haren’s troubles wouldn’t carry over:
He didn’t get the outs. That’s pretty obvious. Things didn’t go very well today. [But] each game is individual for Danny. I don’t think one leads to the other.”
Haren’s loss dropped him to 10-10 on the season with a 4.59 ERA. The Dodgers making the decision to pull Haren early in the game may be a sign the team is keeping an eye on his vesting option for 2015.
Should Haren reach 180 innings this season, he would be under contract next year for $10 million. What makes the situation a bit more difficult for the Dodgers is the loss of Hyun-Jin Ryu to a glute injury.
Ryu is expected to return before season’s end, however the Dodgers are unsure when that would be. Josh Beckett is also attempting to make his way back to the mound, though an abdominal injury may complicate matters.
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