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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-09-09

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-09-09

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-09-09
Diamondbacks right-hander Dan Haren and San Francisco lefty Barry Zito remain as close as they were when they were teammates in Oakland in 2005-06.

When Zito struggled earlier this season, Haren was there to offer encouragement. The first text message Haren received after a 7-0 loss at Los Angeles on Friday was from Zito, and they texted back and forth for 20 minutes.

"We send each other inspirational sayings and things," said Haren, who will start against the Giants on Wednesday. Zito is scheduled to start against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.

"It's funny -- the things I was telling him early in the season are the same things he was telling me. He helped me a lot in '05 (Haren's first season in Oakland). He helps me get right mentally. He's always been there for me. I'm always there for him."

Haren, 14-8 with a 3.41 ERA, was in the middle of the N.L. Cy Young conversation until a recent funk. He threw four innings Friday, his shortest start of the season, and has given up 29 earned runs in his last 42 1/3 innings.

"Going out Wednesday, I'm going to try to have fun for the first time in a month," Haren said.

"I've had points in my career where I've been hit around, but probably nothing this prolonged. The only thing that is sad is, there are only four more starts. I'm sure I'll get it right before long. The biggest problem is, I'm trying to do too much.

"We (Brandon Webb and Haren) did a good job of carrying the team in May, June and July. We are a big part of why the team is where we are right now. There was always a lot of pressure on us, expectations. We're trying so hard to get that eight innings, no runs, rather than just be ourselves. That's enough. Being the pitchers we are is enough."

GIANTS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 2: RHP Tim Lincecum continued his career mastery of the Diamondbacks, striking out nine in 8 1/3 innings while improving to 3-0 in five starts with 44 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings against them. The Diamondbacks broke the shutout in the ninth when IF Jamie D'Antona grounded into a forceout at second base with the bases loaded. Another run scored on a fielding error. The Diamondbacks have lost 11 of their last 14 games and remain 1 1/2 games behind Los Angeles in the N.L. West.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: September 9, 2008

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