- Man arrested in car bomb plot at Kansas airport
- Prison inmates take up ‘Knockout’ game, target female officers
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- John Kerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal paved for April
- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
Dan Haren eager to show Nationals his innings-eating ways
A way to force something good out of another downer of a night was sitting right there for Nationals pitcher Dan Haren, waiting like a hanging curveball to be swatted out of the park.
Haren wanted nothing to do with it. There’s a 1-3 record next to his name after he and the Nats lost 3-2 to the Cardinals on Monday night at Nationals Park. Sure, it was better than his previous outing when he gave up seven runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings. Heck, it may have been his best outing of the season, even better than when he beat the White Sox on April 11.
“I’ve got to get obviously deeper into games,” said Haren, a free-agent signing in the offseason who hasn’t gone more than five innings in any of his four starts.
“I gave us a chance out there through the fifth and then I got into a mess. I’ve got to get better obviously. No one is more frustrated than I am. I have to give us a better chance to win. I want more out of myself than five innings, three runs and (Craig) Stammen bailing me out of that jam. I’ve been around 10 years, I’m used to going 7-8 innings every time. I’ve thrown 200 innings many times. Going five innings, you’re not going to do that.”
Haren threw 200-plus innings every year from 2005-2011. He’s won at least 12 games every year since 2005 and only had one losing record in that span. He’s a three-time All-Star. There’s a reason his one-year deal cost the Nationals $13 million.
His teammates are trying to support him as he sorts through the emotions of his season’s start. Shortstop Ian Desmond praised the way Haren threw Monday night. Manager Davey Johnson said, “I thought he threw the ball a lot better. He mixed his pitches up. That’s a very positive outing for me. I think he has to be much more pleased.”
Not so much.
“It’s been eating at me, it really has,” Haren said. “This week I tried to make a conscious effort to have more fun out there, not to put so much stress on myself. I want to do well more than anybody. I don’t care about my numbers. I just want the team to do well.
“The toughest days when you don’t pitch well are the days in between. Right now, I just wish I could get back out there. I have to wait five days.”
Going into the fateful sixth, the score was tied at 2. St. Louis goes its runs in the third on a double by Allen Craig that came after a single by Pete Kozma and a walk to Matt Carpenter. The Nats tied it on the fourth. Ian Desmond doubled to score Jayson Werth. Rookie Anthony Rendon followed with his first major-league hit, a double that scored Desmond.
Haren hit Matt Holliday to open the sixth. Carlos Beltran hit a ground-ball single, Yadier Molina hit a sharp single to score Holliday. After a walk to David Freese, Johnson pulled Haren. Stammen, helped by a double play, kept any more runs from scoring.
Haren threw 86 pitches through five. There was no reason to be hesitant to send him out for the sixth.
“He finished off the fifth real good. I figured he could get through six,” Johnson said. “It didn’t work out.”
The Nats got nothing else off rookie starter Shelby Miller and three relievers. Desmond came up in the eighth with two outs and runners on second and third. Trevor Rosenthal struck him out looking.
“That’s the situation I want to be in *** the game on the line,” Desmond said. “I’ll take me in that situation any day of the week. He just got me out today. Hopefully I get that opportunity again.”
Stammen’s two-inning outing came two days after he struck out five in two innings against the Mets. He needed another double play to get out of the sixth but he did get out of it. Ryan Mattheus and Drew Storen finished, neither allowing a baserunner.
“When the breaks go your way, you look like a real good player. When they don’t, you look like a real bad one,” Stammen said. “Defense made some real good double plays for me, got me out of those two innings.
“The bullpen came in and we all really threw the ball well. We’re starting to get into a little bit of a rhythm, figuring out when Davey’s going to use us.”
For Haren, that answer is simple. He’ll be used every fifth game. That means he goes again Saturday against the Reds, the team that scored six runs off him in four innings in his Nationals debut.
“I feel confident. When I take the ball and get out there, I feel like I’m pitching to win,” Haren said. “It’s close. It’s going to turn around. I just have to keep believing in myself.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Washington Times sports editor Mike Harris has more than 30 years experience in the business as a reporter, columnist and manager. He’s covered a wide variety of events including two Olympics, horse racing, auto racing, professional and college sports. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow the section on Twitter @WashTimesSports.
- Ovechkin glides past RG3, Harper and Strasburg to reign as D.C. sports superstar
- HARRIS: Redskins left in limbo over $7 million question
- HARRIS: Visions of Robinson Cano under Nationals' tree
- Doing the roster math is a task Caps coach Adam Oates takes seriously
- HARRIS: There's always something you can put on your thankful list
Latest Blog Entries
- Meet Connor Carrick, the youngster who played his way onto the Caps' final roster
- Go Aggies: Nationals notes and lineups for Sept. 14
- RG3: There is no conflict with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan
- Sunday Nats-Dodgers lineups and some thoughts from reliever Craig Stammen
- Nats vs. Dodgers: Chad Tracy and his .149 average back at first base
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- 'Active shooter' injures two at Colo. school; gunman on the loose
- Obama birther theories float as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- North Korea's official report on Jang Song Thaek
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Musings of a bilingual, agnostic, combat veteran and jewelry maker.
Topics will include politics, religion, race, culture, and anything else that needs to be discussed...
Our Choice: Individual responsibility and self-government or the abandonment of the American Revolution
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow