Dan Haren has now allowed four runs (three earned) in his last 26 innings after twirling a seven-inning, four-hit, no-run gem against the Padres today. Yes, all that came against the Mets, Padres, Diamondbacks, and Padres, but previously he wasn’t able to get anybody out, and if he’s going to be the fourth starter in a playoff situation, it’s key that he gets back to at least passable quality and it looks like he’s done that.
The Dodgers‘ offense was led by multi-hit games by Justin Turner, Carl Crawford, and Juan Uribe, but the team did fail to score with the bases loaded again, leading to endless annoying wank on Twitter. Either way, the offense ended up pounding out 12 hits and scored three runs (!!!).
On the Yasiel Puig front, he looked better overall in terms of approach but reasons to worry were still apparent in his at-bats. Puig went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, lined out sharply to short in his first at-bat, and saw 22 pitches in four plate appearances, which is certainly a different approach than he had been giving. And while the results are one thing, for me, the most concerning reality is that in his last at-bat he swung through two fastballs at 91 and 90, both of them middle-away. This isn’t a hard-in, soft-away issue like it usually is when Puig struggles, the Padres have taken to just pumping fastball after fastball at him. I guess I could look at it later, but he seems to be lunging a bit.
Going back to Haren, today game puts him at 169 innings for the year, which means he just needs to average three or four innings a start the rest of the way and he’ll be back in 2015. While many seem fine with that because people are used to what a high-3 or low-4 ERA means (or used to mean), a 4.17 FIP in today’s run environment at Dodger Stadium is worth less than a win. And if we’re going by raw results, he’s allowed 5.11 runs per nine before today, which is closer to a negative win than neutral. While I apologize for being a wet blanket, the fact remains that he’s been exceeding mediocre overall and hopefully he’s better going forward for the team, but that tends not to happen in a pitcher’s mid-30s.
In reality, maybe I’m grumpy because Brim pointed this out early in the game, and it’s all I wanted to look at.
Why is the logo on that man's hat so large? pic.twitter.com/312cb3UtFL
— Daniel Brim (@DanielBrim) September 11, 2014