We need you Dan Haren. The Dodgers need you. They need the Dan Haren who had a great start to the season going 3-0 in April/March, and it looks as though that Haren is back for the playoff push. After losing 5 straight earlier this summer while in that downward spiral, Haren has rebounded to win 5 of his last 7. After another disastrous Roberto Hernandez start, the Dodgers need Haren more than ever. Hyun-jin Ryu‘s MRI showed no structural damage to his ailing left shoulder, but he will still miss at least one start and probably more. Haren, who has been mostly reliably mediocre, has had some steep ups and downs this season. I don’t even want to bring up his July 5th start in Colorado. Eight runs on 10 hits leaves me worried about Tuesday night’s start.
Dan Haren (13-10, 3.99) vs. Tyler Matzek (5-10, 4.23)
Van Slyke LF
Last time out against the Padres, Haren pitched 7 shutout innings. He only allowed 4 hits and struck out 5 while walking 1 on 105 pitches.
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Matzek (46) will counter Dan Haren on Tuesday at Coors Field. Photo: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
It was a great start for the veteran, and the late-season shutout was a good pickup for the Dodgers. Haren is 2-0 in September with a 0.69 ERA. After a horrendous July, and two previous bad months, Haren has been pitching well of late. After watching Hernandez pitch, I can appreciate Haren a lot more.
Haren is 0-1 against the Rockies this season with a 13.50 ERA in the one disastrous start he made at Coors when he allowed two homeruns. Overall in his career, Haren is 7-8 with a 5.00 ERA in 17 starts. He is 5-4 at Coors Field with a 5.29 ERA in 10 career starts. He has allowed 18 homeruns there (wow). Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, DJ Le Mahieu, Corey Dickerson, and Drew Stubbs have all hit a homer off Haren in the past.
Dan Haren 2015 Vesting Option Standings:
|●169 innings pitched|
|●Needs 11 more innings for $10 million 2015 option to kick in.|
The Rockies will be sending out 23-year old left-hander Tyler Matzek to the mound. He made his debut with the Rockies in June, and the Dodgers faced him once when he allowed 3 runs on 10 hits in the loss to Los Angeles in his second career start back on June 16th. Matzek lost last time out against the Mets, but he only allowed 2 runs on 4 hits over 6 1/3 innings. The southpaw has been pitching well so far this month for Colorado.
Prediction: Haren continues the great hitting from the starting pitching staff, and he collects a base hit.
The Dodgers now have a nice, although not too padded, 4 game lead in the N.L. West over the Giants. Mark Trumbo hit a grand slam for the D-backs against the Giants on Monday night while the Dodgers were busy beating up the Rockies 11-3. The Dodgers would want nothing more than to stack on more space between first place and second before facing the Giants for the final three game set between the two rivals. The Dodgers should use every opportunity to capitalize on the last-place Rockies.
Call to the Pen
The Rockies showcased why they are a last place team on Monday night at Coors Field. Their inability to successfully execute a squeeze play, and their uncanny expertise in squandering scoring opportunities made the Justin Turner bases loaded base hit even sweeter. While the Dodgers have had their own problem this year with fundamentals, the Rockies are a lot worse.
The annoying Angels have already secured a playoff berth. The Dodgers and Angels Freeway Series World Series could still happen. The Dodgers need to defend what is rightfully theirs, the N.L. West crown, so they can shift their focus to October. While the Angels are cruising right along with 94 wins, the Dodgers are one game out of the loss column to have the same record as the Washington Nationals in the N.L. There is still work to be done, but after the last two lopsided victories, the prospect of a playoff berth seems more and more probable.
Yasiel Puig has looked a lot better at the plate the last couple of games. Matt Kemp is hitting blasts over the center field wall like it’s 2011. Adrian Gonzalez leads the league with 106 RBI. Juan Uribe is a vacuum at third base and is hitting .309. Crawford is in a healthy spurt. Gordon is the spark plug and stolen base leader. Things are good.
11 and 17 run games are fun, but I’d settle for a 5-3 victory over the Rockies in Game 2.
The bubbles are flowing while the Bison Blasts are going…going…gone!