Once he looked like a great one-year pickup. Once VHS was the rage.
Dan Haren started off 5-1 with a 2.84 earned-run average in his first eight starts for the Dodgers. Such a signing. Then came his next 13 starts, and a 3-7 record and 5.65 ERA.
Now the Dodgers have a real problem, and it was apparent once again in a 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday at PNC Park.
Haren gave up four runs in the first inning and the Dodgers never could recover, falling to 2-4 on their trip. They’re off Thursday before starting a three-game showdown series this weekend in San Francisco.
The Dodgers played a lazy game mentally and apparently are the only team in baseball that currently cannot hit Francisco Liriano.
Liriano has two wins in his 17 starts this season, and both have come against the Dodgers.
Haren, meanwhile, continues to look lost in trying to regain his form. And with the July 31 trade deadline approaching, the Dodgers’ patience might be coming to an end. With Josh Beckett coming back from a hip injury, they now have three reliable starters and two question marks.
The Pirates loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a walk with one out in the first inning. Then Haren walked in the first run, an Ike Davis sacrifice fly bought in another and a Josh Harrison double scored two more.
The Dodgers trailed 4-0 and the sun had yet to set on the Allegheny.
The first inning has been something of a problem for Haren (8-8) most of this year, when he has an 8.57 ERA.
Haren gave up a one-out bomb to Travis Snider in the second inning, but then actually settled down. The Pirates never came close to scoring again in his five innings.
But with the Dodgers getting picked off first base, missing cutoff men and just generally flailing away against Liriano (2-7), the damage was done. The Dodgers managed only four hits against Liriano in his seven innings, and one against relievers Justin Wilson and Jared Hughes.
The Dodgers’ lone run came in the sixth inning. Justin Turner singled, Dee Gordon doubled him to third base and a Matt Kemp groundout brought in Turner.
Yasiel Puig pinch-hit in the eighth inning, walked, and then began his official experiment in center field.