Dan Haren‘s debut with the Nats couldn’t have gone much worse, as he gave up 6 runs in 4 innings to help contribute to an ugly score line as the Nats lost 15-0 friday night in Cincinnati.
Haren’s troubles were simple; he did not hit his spots and left balls out over the plate. Each of the four homers he gave up were center cut 90mph meat-balls that missed the outside corner he was aiming for (and that Kurt Suzuki was asking for) by 6-8 inches. Professional hitters are going to punish these mistakes, and when you play in a bandbox as Cincinnati does, line drives to left field turn into homers instead of doubles off the wall.
I turned the game off when Zach Duke let in the 7th run; he proceeded to show why he was available on a minor league deal last off-season. Hopefully subsequent appearances will continue to be of the mop-up variety where we don’t really care what the score line looks like, because that’s about what I’d expect of Duke after seeing last night’s performance.
Haren’s pitch f/x data isn’t encouraging; max of 90.7mph on his fastball, but he only broached 90 a handful of times, losing his max velocity as the night went on and barely hitting 88 by the time he was done. Was he going to different pitches (cutters?) I liked his split-fingered fastball on the night but he threw mostly fastballs and cutters (according to pitch f/x analysis anyway; i’m not sure how they tell the difference).