Friday, March 15, 2013

Dead arm leaves Haren dragging

Associated Press
Dan Haren was roughed up for five runs in five innings by the Cardinals.
JUPITER, Fla. -- He could have come up with an excuse or tried to sugarcoat the situation by searching for some positives to come out of his ragged outing this afternoon.

Dan Haren didn't bother. He just told it like it was.

"Just one of those days, man," the Nationals right-hander sighed after allowing five runs in five innings with a fastball that never topped 89 mph. "I felt like I was throwing a weighted ball out there. It was just bad, all the way around."

Haren insisted he's not injured. He hopes he was simply dealing with the same "dead arm" issue that plagues many pitchers in mid-March, though "I don't even know what that is, I just didn't feel great."

The results weren't pretty: Haren allowed four runs during a first inning that included two towering homers clubbed by the Cardinals' Jon Jay and Matt Adams and first-pitch strikes to only one of the first five batters he faced.

The results, though, were less alarming than the radar gun readings on the Roger Dean Stadium scoreboard. Haren's fastball topped out at 89 mph but consistently registered in the 86-87 mph range and even dropped as low as 83 on occasion.

Did those readings cause any alarm bells to ring in Davey Johnson's head?

"I didn't have to see the radar guns," the manager quipped. "I could see the way he was throwing. I was ready to go hit."

Both Johnson and Haren were able to laugh it off, confident this was a one-time blip and not cause for greater concern. But Haren was brutally honest in his self-assessment.

"I had slop out there," he said. "It was embarrassing."

Haren had enjoyed a relatively strong camp prior to this. He allowed four runs over his first nine innings of the spring, issuing only one walk and regularly topping 90 mph with his fastball.

That -- not to mention the fact he had already seen one fellow member of the Nationals' rotation experience a similar dead arm sensation -- left Haren unconcerned about any long-term effect.

"When I have dead arm, it's not pretty," he said. "When Jordan Zimmermann has dead arm, he's throwing 95 still. It's tough, though. Obviously, I was battling the whole way through. I made some pitches, got some outs. Overall, it just wasn't sharp by any means."

Haren actually has a history of poor spring performances. He never posted a spring training ERA better than 4.05 from 2007-11, and then proceeded to post regular season ERAs no worse than 3.91 each of those seasons. In fact, the only spring in which he enjoyed consistent success came one year ago, when his ERA was 2.05 in March ... and then 4.33 during the regular season.

Put it all together, and Haren's track record suggests this disaster of a start will long be forgotten once he takes the mound again.

"I think everyone usually has one hiccup every spring," he said. "People probably get a little more panicked when I do, just because of last year, so just all the more reason to look forward to the next start. I'll be fine. I'll be out there. ...

"It'll be better, guaranteed."

38 comments:

Gonat said...

You have to like his candor.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Do the Nats ever face opposing pitchers with "dead arm"?

Gonat said...

Yah, the Nats faced a pitcher with a dead arm once last year.

baseballswami said...

Just watched Colin Balester pitch a 1-2-3 inning for the Rangers. Still trying. Martis in the WBC. Former Nats starters.

sm13 said...

Roy Halliday had dead arm the other day. It is a rite of Spring.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

I think Beowulf had a dead arm.

JaneB said...

I am so rooting for Collin make it. And for Haren's arm to wake up in the next week or so.

EmDash said...

WBC note: it would appear that they're not planning to have Det pitch tonight, as I saw him sitting in the dugout rather than the bullpen.

natsfan1a said...

Dead arm you say? It's just a flesh wound.

Doc said...

Thanks for the update on BallyStar, Swam.

I hope he can make it with the Rangers.

I also admired Haren for his forthrightness.

GooooooooooDan! GoooooooooooooNats!

NatsLady said...

Det should have pitched. He may not have another chance the way it is going. No offense and USA just walked a run in for Puerto Rico.

Faraz Shaikh said...

PR leads by 4-0. Unbelievable! That opposing pitcher is locked in right now.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Guys like Braun, Mauer not doing anything is really frustrating to watch. I don't expect much from Hosmer, Rollins, etc but come one Braun. and as I was typing, Rollins gets thrown out.

Faraz Shaikh said...

WOW did I just see an ad with Bobby V poking fun at his firing from Boston? LOL.

baseballswami said...

I am really disappointed with team USA. I think at this point they should be hitting better than this. Apparently the major league clubs are dictating which pitchers can pitch on certain days. That explains a lot. Would like to have seen our boys shine a little more. So, is this what Rollins and Stanton are going to look like when we play their teams?

Faraz Shaikh said...

Swami, let's not get our hopes up. Our pitchers tend to get the best out of Stanton. Still remember his home run against SS last season.

baseballswami said...

I don't know what the worst part of the nightmare is- Stanton hitting with men on or that horrible , vomitous home run deely bopper.

sjm308 said...

I enjoyed the WBC but will be happy to have our two lads back in Viera instead of on a plane to San Francisco. Doubt if I will watch the rest of it. I will be too busy trying to get everything in my room exactly like it was tonight as Maryland crushes Duke!! At least tomorrow I won't have to be clicking back and forth between baseball, Terps and G'town. DVR got quite a workout.

peric said...

Doesn't matter ya know? That's the risk with Harren. He's a good pitcher who has lost significant velocity on his fastball the last 2-3 years. And it had a detrimental effect.

That's why Rizzo likes insurance policies. He has a couple of those in the form of veterans in camp. And a couple of prospects in the minors. And then? There's Stammen and Dukes. Why worry.

SlowPitch63 said...

Sofa,
The Beowulf comment had coffee coming out my nose.
Let's Play Two!

PFB Balls of Fire said...

Yep, I think Sofa wins the best literary joke of the spring award.

BigCat said...

I've said it before. Haren seems like a class guy and has had a great big league career. But the needle is on empty now. Rizzo has made great moves over the last couple years, but this is not one of them

JayB said...

PR leads by 4-0. Unbelievable! That opposing pitcher is locked in right now...........That was Nelson Figuora for God Sake.....come one face it....WBC is a joke and should not exist in this form.

The USA team would have been better if it was made up of Single A players who spent the winter playing as a team in Caribbean leagues. This is no different than Olympic Basketball ball. The whole Dream Team idea is embarrassing and proves nothing.

Oh and now the excuses come and they sure sound like Nats excuses from October. Torre and Johnson only pull out excuses when they lose. Until then, lack of focus, inexperience, short series, LUCK love that one...bad luck seems to be the top one lately....they don't exist until their players choke...then you here such BS them these guys.

NatsJack in Florida said...

and a wonderfull good morning to you, too JayB.

JayB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JayB said...

And you NJ...And another example of Davey before a problem.....Johnson said. “I’m not concerned at all about that. I’m sure both of them are learning from guys that know a lot about pitching. I think it’s a great experience. Whatever work scheduled they’re on, I’m not the least bit worried.”.....Now when these two struggle in April of god for forbid get hurt.....that is NOT what Davey will say.....book it.

Tcostant said...

I'll still watch the WBC, it's fun. I think It was to see that the US pitcher needed to come out. I think The Nats should sign JC who looked like the LH we need.

JayB said...

NJ...I know it is almost if not impossible for you to say anything negative about Davey and they guys you get access too but...........Dead Arm....come on....just another example of BS when things go wrong...next any accountability...that is what I do not understand...at least no accountability in the press and trust me that is what players care about these days.

BigCat said...

"Dead Arm" That is the latest

BigCat said...

davey's comments not to flattering on Haren

NatsJack in Florida said...

Dan Haren's comments on Haren aren't too flattering either but whatever.

In the words of Buster Posey, " It's Spring Training you moron".

Mac said...

There's Dead Arm and there's Dead Head. We know who has which.

Mac said...

Anyone happen to notice which arm J.C. Romero, the currently unsigned pitcher who closed the game for PR, throws with? I do believe it was the left. Think about it.

sjm308 said...

Mac, I was thinking about Romero and Figeuroa. Amazing that we get beat by a couple of journeymen but that's baseball.

I want to know when David Wright became the most important player in the universe. The idiot talking head (not the guys who actually played) made it sound like the only reason we lost is because Wright was not in the lineup. Last time I checked a game went 9 innings with multiple players. No one person has ever won or lost a game by himself and certainly not David Wright who is a fine player but not "captain america".

On another topic - JayB has worked out all the kinks, allowed his tongue (or in this case fingers) to get stretched out and is ready for opening day. His endless rants on Davey will never end but he should save them for when the games count. JayB we get it, Davey is stubborn but when you continue to point that out who do think is more stubborn?? Hmmmmm. I honestly don't hope this happens but if we don't jump out to a fast start I see lots of posts by "you know who saying you know what" Scroll feature will be useful.

JayB said...

In the words of Buster Posey, " It's Spring Training you moron".

I agree on all levels.....and that is why WBC is stupid the what the US plays it. Every other country gets it. They prepare and play all winter and some as a full team. That is how you compete....not because you have more talent. Clearly that does not matter in this format and during early spring training. USA got beat by teams and pitcher who would not even make Single A rosters.

Buster is correct and that is why Nats players should not be on the roster. Potomac players....fine.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I also thought about how WBC can also be a stage for some of these players to earn a big league deal or at least a minor league invite.

I am a fan of WBC and I hope it picks up more fans and more players are inclined to participate in this event to make it more fun.

Rabbit34 said...

Haren looked good. So, a couple of spring training homers. He will have a winning record this season and will be a much better pitcher than EJac.

baseballswami said...

Last season when Gio came to the team, he really loosened everyone up, Burnett also seemed gregarious. Haren's salty frankness may be yet another facet to this fascinating group of pitchers. Sports shrinks would have a field day. All different, all with their own style. McCatty makes it all work. I would love to have a conversation with him about these guys.

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