Dan Haren had baseball’s worst ERA before he went on the disabled list. Since returning, he has one of the best.
Haren allowed a double to Rickie Weeks to lead off the bottom of the first inning and walked Jonathan Lucroy later in the frame, but absolutely silenced Milwaukee from then onwards. In total, he allowed four hits and two walks over his seven shutout innings, in which he struck out six. He now has a 2.44 ERA in five starts since returning from the DL, and has two wins while getting just four over his first fifteen starts. In his last fourteen innings, he has allowed seven hits, three walks, and one run while striking out twelve. He certainly looks vastly improved, and could finally be delivering on the promise he had before the season as a former All-Star.
On offense, the bats did just enough against Donovan Hand. The Nats only managed five hits against him, but they made them count. A single, a walk, and a double steal in the second inning set up a sacrifice fly by Anthony Rendon that put the Nats up 1-0. Ramos’ home run in the fifth and LaRoche’s in the sixth put the score at its eventual final of 3-0. LaRoche’s long ball, which he actually got with Jayson Werth‘s bat, was another bit of great news for the Nats, albeit on a smaller scale than Haren. He had gotten just one hit in his last 26 at-bats, so his power flashback was quite welcome. The main source of the Nats’ offensive failings were the top three batters in the order: Denard Span, Bryce Harper, and Ryan Zimmerman were each 0-4.
Reliever Rob Wooten pitched the final two innings of the game for the Brewers, yielding hits to Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon but no runs. Tyler Clippard dropped his ERA even further to 1.85 in his quietly excellent season with a perfect eighth, while Rafael Soriano got his 28th save of the year with a clean ninth.
Next Game: Sunday in Milwaukee, 2:10 PM. Jordan (1-3, 3.31) v. Lohse (7-7, 3.22)