Dan Haren picked up a win Thursday to improve to 3-2 in June, but he allowed a season-high six earned runs in the process. The Angels' righthander has given up four or more earned runs in each of his last four starts. That is tied for the worst such stretch in his career, having also done it in 2010 with the Diamondbacks.
The only bright side to his struggles is that run support has been suddenly pouring in. In Haren’s three wins this month, the Angels' offense has bailed him out by averaging 9.3 runs per game.
I guess Haren’s teammates kind of owe him. In a fourth of his 16 starts this year, they have failed to score.
Of course, the fact that the Angels were able to pull out these wins cannot completely hide the ugly numbers Haren has put up lately.
Through May, Haren’s ERA was a very solid 3.52. This month it is 7.16.
Dan Haren This Season
So what’s ailing Haren?
NOT MISSING BATS
After getting misses on 25 percent of swings entering the month, only 18 percent of hitters have missed on Haren’s pitches in June. His fastball in particular hasn’t been fooling anyone. Only nine percent of swings this month against Haren’s fastball have missed and hitters are hitting .421 against the pitch.
His strikeout rate this month is 14.5 percent, nearly eight percentage points lower than it was the first two months of the year.
STRUGGLING WITH RIGHTIES
Haren has always had slightly worse splits against right-handed hitters in his career. But this month they have been crushing him – hitting .373 and slugging .672. Those inflated numbers can be blamed on location. A lot of pitches that Haren has intended to throw to the low-outside corner have ended up in the heart of the plate. Righties have hit .458 against Haren on pitches in the zone this June.
GIVING UP THE LONG BALL
In June Haren gave up 2.6 home runs per nine innings. That was the second-worst rate in all of baseball behind only the Mariners’ Jason Vargas (3.2).
A renowned control pitcher, Haren has led his league in strikeout-to-walk ratio on three occasions -- the National League in 2008 and 2009 followed by the American League last year. This season however, he’s issued 23 free passes. That’s 10 fewer than he gave up the entire 2011 season.