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Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
Topic - Dan Haren
Brandon League was the scourge of the Dodger Stadium boo birds last season by virtue of his 5.30 ERA out of the bullpen. He turned his fortunes around over the past month with a career-best streak of 22 innings without allowing an earned run. That ended Thursday night with a jolt against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A.J. Ellis had plenty of room to catch Chase Utley's foul pop and didn't squeeze it into his catcher's mitt.
When David Buchanan walked into the manager's office after a rough outing in the minors, he didn't expect to leave a major leaguer. Buchanan sure pitched like he belonged in his debut.
Finally, the Arizona Diamondbacks won a series at home.
The Nationals today are seeking their 10th consecutive win over the Mets. Get live updates on Nats Insider!
Dan Haren, the veteran that he is, has made a living pitching deep into games after giving up a few early runs. And, for a change, he was able to do it against the Miami Marlins thanks to a clutch home run by Yasiel Puig.
Returning to the Nationals after a five-week absence from a broken hamate bone he suffered on Opening Day, Wilson Ramos didn't wait long to remind the team of his impact.
The Nationals have added at least one of their injured starters back into the lineup. Catcher Wilson Ramos, the cleanup hitter on Opening Day in New York on March 31, returns from hamate bone surgery on his left wrist on Wednesday in the series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
At 33 years old, in his 12th major league season, Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Dan Haren knows he's going to get a stiff back now and then, just as he did during a 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
Dan Haren didn't let a little thing like a four-run inning discourage him. He had plenty of confidence in his teammates' ability to get him some runs, and they didn't disappoint him against a pitcher they'd never seen before.
Mike Bolsinger got out of the first inning on five pitches and three ground balls in his first big league start. Then he struck out four of his next five batters and was sailing along until the Los Angeles Dodgers figured him out the second time through the lineup.
That dry desert air brought out the best of the Los Angeles Dodgers offense, especially Adrian Gonzalez.
The refrain is getting painfully familiar for the sputtering Arizona Diamondbacks: a bad outing for a starting pitcher.
Dan Haren finally feels comfortable in Dodger blue.
Capsules of National League West teams, listed in order of finish last year:
"We really faced a tough pitcher, and I wasn't able to hold them down," Haren said. "I've been mediocre here for a few starts now. Strikeouts have kind of come and gone for me. I got a lot last game. But when that many balls get put into play, bad things have to happen."
"I didn't have anywhere to throw," Haren said.