Dan Haren’s three-game winning streak came to an end in a rough outing at Coors Field, which also ended the Los Angeles Dodgers’ streak of three consecutive wins.
Haren allowed five runs in 5.0 innings in his second loss at the hitter-friendly park. The right-hander failed to pitch at least six innings for the first time since Aug. 17 and it came at an inopportune time.
With Hyun-Jin Ryu’s health in question, the Dodgers figure to rely more heavily on Haren, who had improved after losing five consecutive starts. Haren said he’s expecting to be needed in a potential postseason game and acknowledged he’d need to pitch well, according to the LA Times’ Dylan Hernandez:
I want to go into the playoffs, if we can get there, on a high note,” Haren said. “With Ryu, I don’t really know what’s going on with him. Of course, we’d love to have him for the playoffs. I think it’s still possible. That said, I’m expecting, at some point, to be called upon. I have to be my best.”
The loss dropped Haren to 13-11 on the season and his ERA climbed to 4.14 after falling below 4.00 Sept. 10 for the first time since June 30. Haren will have an opportunity to get momentum back on his side as he’s scheduled to make two more starts in the regular season.
Along with looking to bounce back from the loss, Haren’s final starts will allow him to reach 180 innings on the season, which would trigger his 2015 vesting option — he’s currently at 174 innings.
Haren’s postseason opportunity will largely depend on Ryu’s health. Given the best-of-five format of the NLDS, the Dodgers wouldn’t necessarily need a fourth starter until the NLCS. However, if Dodgers win the division Ryu is unable to return by Game 3 (Oct. 6), Haren may find himself on the mound for a pivotal postseason start.
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