Dodgers News: A.J. Ellis Comes To Defense Of Struggling Dan Haren
Just as much as the Los Angeles Dodgers have become accustomed to relying on their pitching, Dan Haren’s inability to make it out of the fourth inning has become a troubling trend.
The right-hander allowed three runs in 4.2 innings Friday. It wasn’t necessarily his worst start of the season, but rather it was not being able to retire Matt Holliday that knocked him out of the game.
With an RBI double and two-run home run, Holliday drove in three of the St. Louis Cardinals five runs. A.J. Ellis discussed the big hits Haren surrendered to Holliday, via J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News Group:
“He just got hurt a little bit when he was in the middle of the plate,” he said. “Two fastballs ended up there. One was an RBI double. The other was a two-run homer. Other than that, I thought Dan really battled and did a great job.”
Haren has now struggled in three consecutive starts, all of which he’s suffered a loss in. However, Ellis believes the right-hander has been judged too quickly:
Everybody’s really quick to judge right now. He’s doing his work and he’s as professional as anyone we’ve got. I hope I see him out there every fifth day because I love catching him.”
Friday’s loss left Haren with an 8-7 record and 4.30 ERA. He began the year 4-0 and has now gone 1-3 over two separate four-game stretches this season.
Beyond his win-loss record, Haren has been hit hard this season. He’s given up 20 home runs this season, second-most in MLB and 27 doubles, which is seventh highest in the National League.
Furthermore, baserunners have stolen 14 bases off Haren and have only been caught once. The Dodgers have managed to get by thus far despite Haren’s inconsistency, but could be in need of change if his troubles continue.
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