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News » DIAMONDBACKS 4, BREWERS 1 Haren's arm equipped with a silencer

DIAMONDBACKS 4, BREWERS 1 Haren's arm equipped with a silencer

DIAMONDBACKS 4, BREWERS 1  Haren's arm equipped with a silencer
There was mostly silence.

From the crowd inside Miller Park. From the Milwaukee Brewers clubhouse.

And from the Brewers' bats.

Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Dan Haren, the team's ace with Brandon Webb shelved with shoulder issues, muzzled Milwaukee's offense through eight innings.

The Diamondbacks got just enough offense to make his impressive start stand up with a 4-1 victory Saturday, something that hasn't been common this season - Haren has three losses despite a 1.47 earned run average.

The loss, their second straight, guaranteed the Brewers won't win this four-game series, the first time they haven't won a series since facing the New York Mets two weeks ago.

Haren allowed one run on four hits and struck out 11 while walking two. He used 108 pitches to get through an outing in a game that lasted just 2 hours 26 minutes.

"Pitching is controlling the bat speed," said Brewers manager Ken Macha, who managed Haren in Oakland for two seasons. "That's pitching. It's all the things that I've been talking about, changeups and off-speed pitches.

"If you stand up there and throw 92 (mph), 92, 92, somebody's going to hit it. But when you got these other pitches you throw for strikes, that 92 is 102. It's right by you."

Haren threw his breaking and off-speed pitches for strikes and threw them even when he was behind in counts, never letting the Brewers get comfortable or himself get predictable.

"He was throwing strike one most of the time and he was throwing everything but the fastball to me," centerfielder Mike Cameron said. "He's effective and he knows how to pitch."

As was the case against Pittsburgh's Ian Snell and Arizona's Max Scherzer earlier in the week, the Brewers had base runners against Haren, who retired the side in order in five of his eight innings with the help of a double play in the second.

The lone Brewers run came in the sixth, when Rickie Weeks led off with a double, and after two outs Prince Fielder delivered a single to center to score him.

Three other times the Brewers had a runner on with less than two outs, but they moved only one, Jason Kendall in the third, beyond first base.

"(Haren) had completely different stuff than Ian Snell had, but he had the same agenda," Macha said. "He had the good fastball and he held that back and threw a lot of his cut fastballs, curves and split-fingers. Those are tough guys to hit because you know in the back of your mind he's got the 92 or 93."

That game plan led to plenty of swings and misses late in counts as the hitters were overly cautious of the fastball. Of Haren's 11 strikeouts, only two came on heaters. Everything else was off-speed or a cutter.

Haren's teammates saw the same things as Macha.

"He's a guy that has the ability to mix it up that much," Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder said. "That's why he's been so successful early in the year. He doesn't really give guys a chance to sit in and get comfortable and zone in on one pitch. He's throwing any pitch at any time for a strike."

Braden Looper (2-1, 3.10 ERA) was good, but he wasn't good enough to stand in with Arizona's ace. Looper pitched seven innings and allowed four runs.

The fifth inning was where he lost it.

He allowed a leadoff double to Mark Reynolds, and Justin Upton got a bunt single that was likely supposed to be a sacrifice, but he put it in the perfect spot between Fielder and Looper and legged it out.

Conor Jackson scored Reynolds with a single, and after a fielder's choice got the first out, Snyder doubled off the base of the left-field wall to score two more.

Upton added a solo home run in the seventh for the final dagger.

"It's a frustrating game," said Looper, who retired the first 12 batters he faced before that fifth inning. "I felt like I threw the ball real well, but that one inning I didn't get away with anything. . . . When you're facing a guy like Dan Haren, you can't give them three runs.

"This was one of those games where you come out of shaking your head, feeling like the results of what you did, giving up four runs, I felt like I threw the ball better than that."

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 3, 2009

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