Before Friday afternoon, Dan Haren’s spring training had been a rebuke of his 2012 season. He threw the ball harder this March than he did all last summer. He induced awkward swings and dribblers. He struck out eight batters and walked one. He made last year – a 4.33 ERA and his first ever trip to the disabled list – seem like a certain aberration.
Then came a two-hour car ride Friday morning, a lifeless feeling in his right arm and a train-wreck first inning at Roger Dean Stadium. The Cardinals battered Haren for five runs over four innings. Jon Jay, the leadoff hitter, crushed a home run over the right field fence. Four batters later, Matt Adams crushed another homer. Haren bases his pitching philosophy on minimizing walks, but Friday he walked Matt Carpenter on four pitches and later issued Pete Kozma a walk after starting him with an 0-2 count.
Haren allowed only one run and two hits in his final four innings, and that run came on a walk, a groundout that Kozma used to race from first to third and a sacrifice fly. Haren took little solace from his improvement.
Dan Haren ‘just bad all the way around’
Washington Post | Mar 16