For the last time, the Dodgers could say “It’s only an exhibition game.”
Which for Dan Haren works out just fine.
Haren did not enjoy his finest outing in the Dodgers’ final spring-training game, a 6-2 loss to the Angels on Saturday in Anaheim where he pitched only two innings but made them memorable.
Haren gave up six runs and six hits, including two home runs and three doubles.
All is a prelude to his first start, Wednesday in San Diego.
“Obviously, the results stunk, but at least I got my work in and now I’ll get out there on Wednesday,” Haren said.
Haren was one of three players left in Phoenix as roster exemptions when the Dodgers opened the season with two games in Australia. He made several starts in minor league games and the results of his last outing, Monday against the Cincinnati Reds' Class-A team, weren’t a whole lot different (five runs, four earned, six hits in six innings).
“It felt like it had been awhile since I was on the mound in a real game,” Haren said. “It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, but I feel OK and I’ll just flush it down and move on to the next one.”
Haren finished with a 6.00 earned-run average in 12 spring-training innings. He was scheduled to pitch only two innings Saturday, mostly trying to get in a few pitches before Wednesday.
That was still one more inning than most of the Dodgers’ regulars played. With the Dodgers playing baseball’s mainland season opener Sunday in San Diego, the starters got in an at-bat and called it a night.
Since the Dodgers put Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list and optioned reliever Jose Dominguez to the minor leagues before the game, their roster had already been set. They head to San Diego with only three starting pitchers and nine relievers. The Dodgers have two days off next week before returning home Friday and no doubt adjusting their 25-man roster again.
As for Haren, he tried not to put too much stock into Saturday’s results. Haren said he was mostly hurt with his cutter, but this being an exhibition game, he kept throwing it in an effort to get it to work better.
“If this had been a regular-season game, I probably would have just aborted that pitch and gone to something else,” he said.
“The results will be there, I just stunk today. I’ll be fine.”