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Haren "1,000 times better" in latest start

Mar 22, 2013, 1:43 AM EST

Associated Press
Dan Haren felt better about his start tonight against the Braves.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — His final pitching line — four runs and five hits allowed in 5 1/3 innings — didn’t look all that different from his final pitching line the last time he took the mound and felt like he was throwing a weighted ball.

But Dan Haren was far less concerned about the numbers attached to his name this time and far more pleased with the way he pitched against the Braves in his penultimate tune-up of the spring.

“Overall, obviously it was a lot better,” the Nationals right-hander said. “I mean, I felt 1,000 times better.”

First and foremost, Haren’s velocity was back to its normal levels. After heaving up mid-80s fastballs last Friday against the Cardinals while battling what he hoped was a case of dead arm, he regularly threw 89 mph tonight and topped out at 91 mph several times.
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  1. baseballswami - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Spring training is so odd. They have to play correctly, but there is no real urgency or intensity. Unless you are Bryce. Go through the motions, don't get hurt. Pace yourself. Peak at the right time.

  2. BPro - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    "Dead arm" issues in March? But what does this mean if his arm felt "good" today but had similar results. I'm excited about Dan and thought this was a good gamble but….

  3. John C. - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    BPro just keep reminding yourself: spring training. The stats not only mean nothing, they are absolutely useless when it comes to predicting the season to come. Good, bad or indifferent, they don't matter except that the players are getting their work in and getting ready for April 1.In his interview on the Braves' TV network, Hudson talked about throwing a knuckleball to LaRoche, because they're friends and (basically) what the heck – it's spring training. That gives you an idea of the intensity of the games.

  4. Gonat - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    You know who Spring Training means something to is guys like Chris Young, Henry Rodriguez, and Micah Owings. Those are guys auditioning for jobs.

  5. Doc - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    If you didn't know Swam, nobody would be able to tell 'the regular season Harper' from the 'spring training season Harper'.I think that the 30 odd ST games, the 162 regular season games, and another possible 20 or so playoff games just aren't enough for Bryce to get his hacks in!! LOL

  6. Gonat - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Doc, the only way to know its ST is that Bryce isn't turning those singles into doubles. He thought better of it tonight.

  7. baseballswami - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    So hard to predict what will happen when the games count and the adrenaline starts to pump. Some get too amped and can't focus. Some rise to the occasion. Even watching is different- the Barves scored four, oh, well, ,instead of oh, crap!

  8. peric - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    Harper plays baseball at once speed … full out into the pipe. That is mainly why he is considered one of the best talents to come along in decades in large part its the attitude not the homers.

  9. JaneB - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:17 AM

    Best part of the night: Wilson saying he's back better than before he got injured. I love the Buffalo.

  10. Steady Eddie - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    Well, I'm psyched. Just read on Mark's full story that Haren will pitch against the Marlins on Tuesday, which is when I have seats 3 or 4 rows in back of the 3rd base side on-deck circle. So I will report on how he looks from there.(I bought them hoping that was the Nats' side because I remembered that the home dugout for a game against the Cards there last year was on the first base side. But then saw that the Marlins take the 3rd base side dugout as their home dugout, so… at least I'll see how Giancarlo looks close up.)

  11. Rabbit34 - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Spring Training statistics do mean a lot. Going "north" with a team is mostly determined by spring training statistics. Statistics in spring training are just not a part of regular season statistics just as regular season statistics don't count toward next spring training. But if statistics meant nothing, they wouldn't be kept. If they mean nothing in spring training, they mean nothing during the regular season. When a batter goes to bat, he either gets a hit or doesn't, no matter what he has done in the past. Looking at a statistic is just an indicator of what he might do. But, his chances are 50/50. Therefore, the Nationals are 50/50 to win the NL East. They may have the best chance to win, but they are still 50/50. That is why long shots win. Have a nice day..

  12. NatsLady - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Every month you get 10 free articles on the NYTimes. I used one of mine to read up on MLB suing Biogenesis. (Gio's name is not mentioned.) Does this argument have any merit–a company sold another company's employees drugs ("legal" or "illegal"), and thereby damaged its reputation?MLB to sue Biogenesis

  13. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Verlander almost had an identical line to Haren who faced the Astros and gave up 4 runs over 5.2. Maybe the Tigers should dump him [insert wink]..

  14. Scott Margenau - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Peric. U r so random.

  15. UnkyD - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Rabbit:WrongWrongWrongAnd…..WrongIf spring training stats meant anything, slow starting vets would lose their jobs, every year. Doesn't happen. You're all wet.

  16. BigCat - Mar 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Harens ball moves a lot more than I expected. He runs it in nicely to the right handers. Still, for him to be successful he absolutely has to stay ahead in the count, while living on the corners. He kinda reminded me off Maddux, in his mannerisms. i wonder how many suitors he had this winter. I'll bet we could of got him for half of what we paid for him.

  17. NatsLady - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Avila says Verlander was "fine tuning" his breaking stuff… So that explains the three home runs he gave up…

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    NatsLady, yah I don't think Leyland or Verlander is worried about Verlander.

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    The only pitcher I'm truly worried about is Chris Young.

  20. MicheleS - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    excellent night last night. The seats that NatsJack and Gator John have are excellent. You can really experience the movement on some of the pitches. I saw stuff that you just can't experience from the stands or even the view from the CF camera.JaneB. BUFFALO!!! Oh my, he looks down right SKINNY! He looks really lean now. He looked good running down the basepath. And most importantly, he looked happy. Wouldn't suprise me at all if he is the OD starter for Stras – not saying it will happen, but it wouldn't suprise me in the least. Other than the 2nd inning, Haren looked fine. He's right.. that ball from Upton still hasn't landed.

  21. BigCat - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Lets not get to worked up about Haren. After all, he did give up 8 hits and 4 runs in 5 and a third innings. And Upton hit that one ball 9 mile. We'll call that a "quality start" from him though….after his disaster last time out.

  22. BigCat - Mar 22, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Ain't that right Rabbit?

  23. Rabbit34 - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    BigCat….you impressed the Rabbit! You're ready for the season!! GO NATIONALS!!!

  24. Joe Seamhead - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    MicheleS noted Ramos' fitness. It cracked me up that one poster here harped on all of the weight not only Ramos had, but also Maldonado, Werth and Zimmerman. Then when I was down for ST it was pretty obvious that "information" was just total horse patooie. Werth and Ryan don't have a pound of flab between them, and Ramos is in by far the best shape since we got him, and no way I would've recognized Maldonado for all the weight he had shed.As to Dan Haren's performance, I see a guy that has more movement on the ball then anyone else on the staff. He was hitting 91 last night with his FB. As to the shot he gave up to Justin Upton, Haren has pretty much either struck out Justin, or given up homers to him over the times that they have faced each other. I think that Haren will be fine, as will Drew and Soriano.

  25. Doc - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Interesting, Big Cat, that you thought that Haren reminded you of Maddux. At Pepperdine U. where Haren played baseball, the pitching coach, in the past, has frequently used videos of Greg Maddux to instruct pitchers on the university ball team.I don't recall Maddux ever having been on the DL. Jim Palmer once stated that Maddux was the "….master of the late-breaking pitch…".

  26. m - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    The Braves are stacked. There is no way the Nats are significantly better than the Braves. It is basically a toss up.

  27. Teddy Rochlis - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    The difference with Maddux is that he had amazing control and could hit a tea cup from the mound. He knew exactly where his pitches were going and controlled everything about the AB. Here is something i bet most of you don't know about Maddux. When first arriving in Atl he told the pitching coach, "i'll will never throw a no hitter, ever" why is this? Well what maddux would do is that when he had a 3 run lead, with the bases empty he would try pitches out in certain locations on different hitters, and keep a memory of whether they worked or not. Quite incredible really, and that is why he is such a great pitcher. He knew what to throw to certeain hitters and what not to throw.

  28. Doc - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Great story, Teddy Rochlis!I always thought that towards the end of his career he had enough left in the tank to hit 400 victories.More pitchers would do well to model their format after Maddux.

  29. Faraz Shaikh - Mar 22, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Haren's ST stats. What amazing numbers! definitely something is wrong this season.

  30. EmDash - Mar 22, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Haren's been pretty up and down. But every study ever done comparing spring training stats and regular season stats shows no correlation between the two – the sample sizes are too small in ST, for one thing, and the conditions are too different to reach any conclusions.It's different for guys trying to win a spot on the roster – they pretty much have to treat every game like it's for real. But for everyone else, the emphasis is on building up strength and getting ready, not the results, and that has to affect your approach.Haren last year had the best ST numbers of his career, and his worst regular season. So it's just too premature to write him off before the regular season comes and we see what he can really do.





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