Dugout Digest – Dan Haren cannot buy a win


I firmly believe that the best Angels starting pitcher is Dan Haren. Typically, he gets overshadowed by Jered Weaver, but Haren’s dominance is completely understated. He hasn’t has a FIP above 4.00 since 2006 in Oakland, and he had eight straight four win seasons. This year, however, Haren is is 1-5 after last night’s loss to the Padres, which was a quality start for Haren. He just got no run support from his team, and this was a game started by Eric Stults…not exactly a top ten pitcher. Despite a walk rate this year that’s the highest its been since Haren was a Cardinal (which is still really, really low), Haren’s pitching well enough to win games. He’s allowed more than three runs in a start just three times this year, and never more than five. The Angels have given Haren more than three runs of support just one time all year, and a whopping total of four runs over his last five starts. Sometimes, it just sucks to be an Angel.

Game of the Night: Twins 5, Brewers 4 (11 innings). A disastrous season for the Brewers got worse yesterday, as they’re now on the brink of getting swept by the lowly Twins, the worst team in baseball. Milwaukee could actually compete for that title sooner rather than later with how poorly they’re playing, though. This game went back and forth, with both starters (Carl Pavano and Yovani Gallardo) exiting after allowing two runs in six innings. The Twins plated one each in the seventh and eighth (taking the lead on a bases loaded HBP by Juan Perez – really?), but Milwaukee tied it in the bottom of the inning on a two-run homer by Aramis Ramirez. We went to extras, and in the eleventh, Trevor Plouffe gave the Twins a 5-4 lead on a solo homer that Matt Capps would protect in a seven pitch bottom half of the inning. 

Pitching Line of the Night: We had a pair of complete game shutouts last night. First, Brandon Morrow lit up the Mets, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out eight, on just 107 pitches. In the lone NL matchup of the weekend, Clayton Kershaw dominated the Cardinals, allowing six hits and no walks, while striking out four on 117 pitches. Ryan Vogelsong of the Giants didn’t throw a complete game, but he DID shut out the A’s over seven innings on just one hit, one walk, and logging five strikeouts in the process. John Danks and Jeanmar Gomez also threw shutouts for 6 1/3 innings for their teams.

Hitting Line of the Night: Andrew McCutchen remained hot, going 2/4 with a pair of homers and four RBI. In a losing effort, Erick Aybar of the Angels went 4/4 with a run and an RBI, falling just a homer short of the cycle in the process. Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs went 3/4 with a run, two RBI, a double, and a homer, while surprising Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager went 3/4 with a run, three RBI, a walk, and a homer.

Spotlight Series: This game was actually relatively boring. The Braves plated two off of Alex Cobb in the second inning on a Juan Francisco single and an Eric Hinske sac fly. They’d get bupkus off of Cobb for the rest of the game, with him setting down the final ten Braves in order. Braves starter Randall Delgado didn’t have any good mojo going last night, walking five and striking out just two over a four inning stint. The big blast for the Rays came in the third inning, when Matt Joyce hit a monstrous grand slam to give Tampa Bay a 4-2 lead. Sean Rodriguez added a solo homer in the sixth off of Cristhian Martinez, and that was that for the scoring in this game, with Tampa winning 5-2. After Cobb left the game, the Rays bullpen threw two perfect innings, meaning that the Braves didn’t put a man on base after the fourth inning. It was just that kind of day for Atlanta. The rubber game will be today, with David Price taking on Tim Hudson.

Other Games: The Dodgers shut out the Cardinals 6-0, and Lance Berkman was hurt again. The Reds edged the Yankees 6-5 and withstood a furious ninth inning rally. The Giants beat the A’s 4-0. The Blue Jays dominated the Mets 2-0. The Indians shut out the Marlins 2-0. The Mariners pounded the slumping Rockies 10-3. The Pirates fought back after nearly being no hit and edged the Tigers 4-3. The White Sox beat the Cubs 7-4 despite the north siders getting four in the ninth. The Astros beat the Rangers 6-5 after hitting three homers. The Royals beat the Diamondbacks 7-3. The Orioles took their second straight from the Nationals, winning 6-5. The Red Sox slugged four homers en route to beating Joe Blanton and the Phillies 7-5. The Padres beat the Angels 3-2.

Today’s Games: Kyle Lohse goes for the Cardinals against Chad Billingsley of the Dodgers. Josh Johnson takes on Derek Lowe in Cleveland. Josh Beckett will duel with Cliff Lee in Philly. Wei-Yin Chen and Stephen Strasburg is a good-looking battle in Washington, as is Johnny Cueto vs CC Sabathia in the Bronx. Colby Lewis takes on Jordan Lyles in Houston. Henderson Alvarez starts for the Blue Jays against the Mets. Zack Greinke looks to prevent a Twins sweep of the Brewers in Milwaukee. Jake Peavy will go for the Sox in the battle of Chicago. The surprising Wade Miley starts for Arizona against the Royals. Tim Lincecum and his ERA approaching 6.00 will take on Bartolo Colon and the A’s.

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.