Dan Haren’s performance was one of the biggest disappointments of the first half of the season for the Washington Nationals. Since returning from the disabled list mid-season, he’s been more of the pitcher they thought he would be. The Nats dug themselves too deep a hole to climb out of, and Haren’s second half performance ended up too little, too late.
Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Haren had another terrific performance, holding the D-Back to four hits over seven innings, leading the Nats to a 2-0 win, ensuring that manager Davey Johnson finishes his Major League managing career at least 300 games over .500.
Haren walked one and struck out five, using the same formula that has led him to post a 3.28 ERA since July 8, the day he was activated from the D.L.
The Nats couldn’t do much off Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy, but it was just enough, scoring single runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Denard Span tripled to lead off the sixth and came in on Ryan Zimmerman’s ground out to short. The next inning, Chad Tracy launched his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot, to cap the scoring.
Drew Storen pitched a perfect eighth inning with a strikeout, and though Rafael Soriano made things interesting in the ninth, allowing a walk and a hit, he got the job done, earning his 43rd save of the season.
THE GOOD: Tracy went 2-for-3 with the homer, raising his season batting average to .202.
THE BAD: Ian Desmond went 0-for-4.
THE UGLY: We’ll refrain.
THE STATS: 6 hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. 0-for-4 with RISP, 7 LOB. No errors or DPs.
NEXT GAME: Sunday at 4:10 pm ET against the Diamondbacks. Tanner Roark (7-1, 1.74) faces LHP Wade Miley (10-10, 3.63).