Perhaps Dan Haren In October Won’t Be So Bad


Dan Haren, ladies and gentlemen.

The Dodgers secured the series win against the Padres on Wednesday night behind another strong outing from Dan Haren. Haren, who is now just 11 innings away from his 2015 option vesting, pitched 7 shutout frames against the Friars in the 4-0 win. Haren, who has turned on the veteran afterburners, has only allowed 4 runs in the last 26 innings he has pitched. With Roberto Hernandez and Kevin Correia struggling, the Dodgers will rely on Dan down the stretch and in to October should the Dodgers clinch a playoff berth.

The offensive player of the game was definitely the red hot Carl Crawford who went 4-for-4 with a single and three doubles. Crawford is in one of his healthy spurts, and I really hope he can ride this all the way into October.

Puig continued to struggle at the plate even though Mattingly chose to bat him lead-off instead of benching him like a certain writer suggested earlier in the day. Crawford picked up the Dodgers tonight, but they will need Puig to break out of this slump in order to defend their N.L. West crown.

The Giants ended up shutting out the lowly D-backs 5-0, but they remain 2 1/2 back.

The Dodgers Magic Number is now 15.

 Dodgers 4 12 1

Padres 0 4 0

WP- Haren (13-10)

LP- Kennedy (10-13)

The top of the first inning ended with a challenge after

A.J. Ellis

clearly threw out

Yangervis Solarte

who had singled with one out against Dan Haren. The replay on Diamondvision showed the tag more clearly. The umpires officially overturned the call after the Dodgers had already walked off the field.

Ian Kennedy

sent the Dodgers down in order in the home half of the first.

Matt Kemp got the first hit of the night, a single to right, for the Dodgers leading off the second inning. That extended Kemp’s hitting streak to 16 games. Carl Crawford then doubled off the center field wall. Will Venable slammed into the wall while Kemp chugged around the base path. Kemp brought the run in, scoring from first base. Juan Uribe followed with a single to center. A.J. Ellis drew a walk to load the bases up for Dan Haren. Dan Haren struck out, and I was completely disappointed that the first grand slam of the year for the Dodgers wouldn’t be off the bat of Haren. Yasiel Puig, who has been in a torrid slump, came up with the bases loaded and two outs…and struck out.

Dan Haren got into some trouble in the third. Will Venable led off with a walk, and Ian Kennedy came up with a line drive single to left field. Haren got a big strikeout against rookie Cory Spangenberg for the second out. Solarte hit into a force out at short, and the Dodgers hold on to the 1-0 lead.

Justin Turner led off the bottom of the third with a single to left, but Kemp grounded into the inning ending double play.

Dan Haren has been really good lately. Photo: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Up jump the devil in the fourth. Seth Smith reached safely on a throwing error by Justin Turner. Then Jedd Gyorko doubled to left. Somehow Haren escaped the jam without surrendering a run. He retired Yasmani Grandal, Rene Rivera and Will Venable consecutively, and the Padres stranded two runners.

Crawford continued his hitting spurt with his second base hit of the night, a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Uribe grounded into yet another double play, and the Dodgers couldn’t add to their lead.

The top of the fifth once again ended on a challenge by the Dodgers. After Cory Spangenberg singled with two outs, he was thrown out trying to steal second by A.J. Ellis. Don Mattingly challenged the original safe call on the tag by Hanley, and the call is again overturned in favor of the Dodgers.

Kennedy pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth. He struck out both Ellis and Haren, and Puig flied out.

Haren also struck out two Padre batters for a perfect sixth.

The Dodgers tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth. Turner and Gonzalez hit back-to-back singles, but Kemp grounded into yet another double play. That was extremely frustrating. Turner moved over to third on the play. Hanley came up with the RBI single to right field, and the Dodgers took a 2-0 lead over the Friars. The Padres challenged a pick-off attempt of Hanley at first. The New York office called him out on the tag which hit Hanley square in the crotch, and the inning is done.

Haren cruised through the seventh, and he sent San Diego down in order again. Dan Haren in October is TOTALLY happening. Isn’t it?

In the seventh, Carl Crawford doubled past Gyorko into right field, and that was CC’s third hit of the night. Uribe promptly singled to left field, and Crawford easily scored bringing in the third Dodger run. That was all for Ian Kennedy. Nick Vincent took came out of the San Diego bullpen to face A.J. Ellis with nobody out. Ellis executed a good sacrifice bunt, and Uribe moved over to second. Andre Ethier pinch-hit for Haren, and Dre singled to right field. Uribe advanced to third. Puig struck out on a 90-mph fastball. Gonzo grounded into a force.

Ian Kennedy pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 runs on 10 hits including 5 strikeouts and a walk on 95 pitches.

The Dodgers will travel up north to clash with the Giants starting Friday night.

Dan Haren pitched 7 innings and allowed no runs on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts and 1 walk on 105 pitches.

Miguel Rojas and Darwin Barney took over for Hanley and Turner at second and short in the top of the eighth. J.P. Howell came out of the Dodger bullpen in relief of Haren. Howell whiffed Alexi Amarista.  Darwin Barney smothered a grounder by Tommy Medica for the second out. Howell also struck out Cory Spangenberg for a 1-2-3 inning.

Carl Crawford had himself a game. In the eighth, against Tim Stauffer, Crawford doubled in Darwin Barney who had walked earlier in the inning. That’s FOUR hits for Crawford on the night. Dodgers lead 4-0.

Kenley Jansen got some work in tonight. He walked Solarte, but Seth Smith grounded into a double play. Hanley struck out Gyorko, and the Dodgers win!

The Dodgers improve to 83-63.  Friday night the huge series between the Dodgers and the Giants begin. Hyun-jin Ryu will counter Madison Bumgarner for the series opener at AT&T Park.