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Haren can't catch a break with D-Backs


Haren can't catch a break with D-Backs
PHOENIX - Dan Haren is the poster boy for Arizona futility.

While the Diamondbacks lost two out of three in each of the first four series of the season, including a visit to San Francisco in which all three games were decided by 2-0 scores during the weekend, Haren has lost all three of his starts.

There are no mulligans in baseball. Arizona and Haren, however, do get a chance to retrace their season-opening steps this week.

They open a three-game series against Colorado on Monday night, a rematch of the season-opening series from two weeks ago. And Haren, who lost the second game of the season against the Rockies despite allowing one run in seven innings, gets a shot at his first win of the season in this series on Wednesday afternoon.

He's ready for things to change.

"We're not playing well and it is not good to dig this deep of a hole early in the year," he said after Friday's loss in San Francisco in which he allowed one run on five hits and struck out six in six innings. "If guys are going to hang their heads and mope about that we're not going to be compatible."

Haren isn't the only pitcher to start this season 0-3, but he's the only 0-3 pitcher with a sub-2.00 ERA -- he's checking in at 1.89, 12th lowest in baseball, having allowed four runs in 19 innings.

  • Francisco Liriano of Minnesota has a 5.09 ERA that is more indicative of the 0-3 record he will take into his Wednesday start at Boston. And then there is Yankee right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, who had a 34.50 ERA to go with the 0-3 record he will take into his start, also at Boston, on Friday. Wang has worked a total of six innings in three starts, including Saturday's fiasco against Cleveland in which gave up the first eight runs of Cleveland's 14-run second inning at Yankee Stadium.

  • At least they all get a chance to end the winless streak this week. Washington reliever Saul Rivera, meanwhile, is already back in the minor leagues after six appearances, covering 7 1/3 innings in which he was 0-3. And then there is Kansas City reliever Kyle Farnsworth, who has given up seven runs in 3 1/3 innings and suffered more losses (three) than the rest of the Royals staff combined (two) in the first 12 games of the season.

  • Royals right-hander Zack Grienke, who is a tribute to pitching coach Bob McClure's abilities to get inside the head of his charges, is not only 3-0, but he hasn't even allowed a run in 20 innings. He has also struck out 26. Just three years ago, Grienke packed his bags and went home because he wasn't mentally into playing baseball.

  • Lefty Dontrelle Willis, on the DL in Detroit with what is described as an anxiety disorder, made a strong enough impression in an extended spring training game (48 of 62 pitches for a strikes and low 90s on the radar gun with his fastball) that he is scheduled to make a minor-league rehab start at Lakeland on Tuesday. Willis has been a puzzle for the Tigers, who acquired him along with Miguel Cabrera from Florida prior to last season, gave him a three-year, $29 million deal and then saw Willis' career go out of control. In nine games (eight starts) last year he was 0-2 with a 9.38 ERA and issued 35 walks in 24 innings.

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  • Sandy Alderson, who resigned as president in San Diego the day that former agent/Arizona CEO Jeff Moorad was announced as the eventual buyer of the Padres, could be headed back to the Bay Area. Alderson, who first surfaced in baseball as the general manager of the Oakland A's, is considered as a likely replacement for Giants GM Brian Sabean. Alderson is more than a casual acquaintance of managing general partner William Neukom, who is ready to put his mark on the franchise he took over from Peter Magowan.

  • When the Diamondbacks-Rockies series concludes, the Rockies will have played more games this season at Chase Field (six) than they have at Coors Field (three). Seems Arizona balked at the original schedule in which it was to open the season in Colorado. The Rockies agreed to move that series to Arizona, but much to Arizona's surprise the Rockies didn't demand the series that opened Monday be moved to Colorado. As a result Arizona plays 18 of its first 21 games at home. The Rockies, meanwhile, open the season with 11 of 14 on the road.

  • Reputations die slowly. The folks on the East Coast saw 20 home runs hit in the first four games of the new Yankee Stadium and proclaimed it "Coors Field East." Must not have heard about the humidor. Last year, Coors Field slipped all the way to sixth in the NL and ninth in the major leagues in terms of home runs hit. There were an average 2.15 home runs at game at Coors Field, well behind the major-league leaders of U.S. Cellular in Chicago (2.76) and Great American Park in Cincinnati (2.64).

  • The old Yankee Stadium saw 1.98 home runs hit per game last season, which ranked 14th among major league venues. The fewest home runs were hit on the West Coast, hitters averaging 1.48 home runs per game at both Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and AT&T Park in San Francisco.

  • Only three teams -- Cincinnati, Arizona and Florida -- have never had a Japanese-born player appear in a game. Baltimore, with right-handed pitcher Koji Uehara, and Atlanta, with right-hander pitcher Kenshin Kawakami, are featuring the first Japanese players in their history this season.


  • Author:Fox Sports
    Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
    Added: April 20, 2009

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