Haren steady despite homers, lack of velocity

Haren steady despite homers, lack of velocity

NEW YORK -- Dan Haren doesn't overpower or overwhelm you. But for the most part, all the 34-year-old has done this season is give his team a chance to win.

It was more of the same on Friday. On a night Matt Harvey was throwing 98-mph fastballs and striking out 11, Haren countered with his usual 86-mph heater in the Marlins' 4-3 win over the Mets at Citi Field.

"Dan's experienced," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "He's not going to panic. He makes pitches. He gave up the two solo home runs, came right back and made quality pitches."

In seven innings, Haren did allow solo home runs to Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson, but those were the only two runs he gave up. He scattered four hits and struck out four.

There is nothing flashy about Haren, now 5-2 with a 3.03 ERA. But after beating the Mets, Harvey's record fell to 5-3 with a 3.11 ERA.

Harvey gave up four runs, including a three-run homer to Justin Bour.

"You never envision getting a three-run lead off Harvey," Haren said. "So when I got it, I was pretty determined to make it last. I just try to do my thing, mixing pitches."

Haren jokes about his lack of velocity. Even his Twitter handle name is @ithrow88. According to Fangraphs, Haren's average fastball velocity is 86.2 mph.

"He doesn't throw real hard, but he locates well and he mixes well," Duda said. "He did a great job tonight keeping us off-balance the whole night."

Haren exited after 88 pitches. But he wasn't sure he could work as deep into the game as he did. In his last start, a no-decision against the Orioles, he threw a team-high 115 pitches.

Early on, Haren informed pitching coach Chuck Hernandez that his outing might not be a long one.

"I didn't feel great early on," Haren said. "I told Chuck, my leash may have to be shorter. Coming off that last outing, I threw a lot of pitches. I felt better as the game went on."

Haren was tested in the sixth inning, as Ruben Tejada singled after Granderson homered. With no outs and momentum going the Mets' way, Haren struck out Duda and then got Daniel Murphy to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play.

"Any time you beat a good pitcher like that, I think the team feels pretty good about it," Haren said. "I feel good about it. Harvey is unbelievable. He has a dead arm and is throwing 98. When I have a dead arm, I'm throwing like 80."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.