Dan Haren’s 11-10 record this season epitomizes the Jekyll and Hyde-type pitcher he’s been the last few years.
At times this season he’s been awful. In 23 ⅓ innings pitched from July 5 to August 1 Haren compiled a 10.13 ERA, batters hit .308 against him and he went 0-5.
Most recently, he’s looked like a frontline starter. In his last 23 ⅓ innings pitched, the 33-year-old has a 2.73 ERA, he’s held hitters to a .189 batting average and he’s 3-1.
The Dodgers are hoping the latter Haren shows up Friday night in the first of a three-game series against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
“I have to be able to step up,” Haren told MLB.com. “I’ve been one of the five guys all year and however many starts I have left, they need to be as good as they can be.”
With Josh Beckett on the disabled list, Hyun-Jin Ryu working to return from a bum buttocks muscle and Zack Greinke pitching with elbow issues, the Dodgers needs the wily veteran more than ever.
He’s 1-1 with a 4.14 ERA in three starts against the Padres this season, but his ERA at Petco Park is only 2.41.
Haren will square off against Andrew Cashner and his 2-6 record and 2.43 ERA.
In his only start against the Dodgers this season on March 30 Cashner went six innings, he only allowed one run on four hits in a 3-1 Padres win.
Greinke (13-8) and Ian Kennedy (10-11) are the scheduled starters for game two. Eric Stults (6-14) will go for the Padres in game three. It was thrown around that Ryu could make his first start Sunday in his return from the disabled list, but, as of now, Kevin Correia (7-14) is scheduled to start game three of the series for the Dodgers.