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Haren happy even if he's not starting

Haren happy even if he's not starting

NEW YORK -- Brandon Webb and Dan Haren both had to deal with a little disappointment Monday, but that didn't seem to take away from their All-Star Game experience.

Webb's chances of pitching even an inning evaporated when he threw 108 pitches Sunday against the Phillies, while Haren found out Monday morning that he would not start for the National League as manager Clint Hurdle elected to go with Milwaukee's Ben Sheets.

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Had he not thrown Sunday, Webb would have been a good bet to get the starting nod given his NL-best 13 wins.

"A little bit," Webb said when asked if he was disappointed. "Obviously, I'm still here and I'm excited to just be a part of it. To be able to throw would be cool, but it's not a killer, it's not going to be terrible."

Haren started for the American League last year when he was a member of the A's. Although his secondary numbers were very impressive, he likely was hurt by his low win total.

"We just haven't been able to score runs for him," D-backs first baseman Chad Tracy said of Haren, who is 8-5 despite a 2.72 ERA.

Although Haren certainly would like to start, at least he knows he will sleep better the night before the game this year than he did last. Nerves kept the right-hander tossing and turning before taking the mound in San Francisco, where he gave up one run in two innings.

"It would have been fun to start," Haren said. "Hopefully, I just get the opportunity to pitch in the game. The run in from the bullpen will obviously be pretty special. It will all be about controlling the adrenaline. Going into it knowing I'm only going to go an inning or two, you put a lot into it."

Haren was one of the pitchers considered by Hurdle, and although he didn't find out for sure until he saw a report on television Monday morning, he had a pretty good inkling it wasn't going to be him when he checked into the team hotel Sunday night.

"Last year when I started I heard when I got to the hotel," Haren said.

Haren was acquired by the D-backs in December in exchange for six prospects, and so far they've been pleased with what they've gotten.

"It's hard to find a Danny Haren and the job he's done for us has been what we hoped for," D-backs general manager Josh Byrnes said.

Haren is a popular figure in the Arizona clubhouse, but it took a little while for him to get acclimated.

"He's a quiet guy we kind of had to pry some stuff out of him first off," Webb said. "When he first got to Spring Training we tried to open him up a little bit. Now he's opened up to us and he's pitched very well for us."

This will be Webb's third straight All-Star Game and the second consecutive one in which he hasn't pitched.

"That's OK," Webb said. "It's always fun to come and actually be on the same team and be in the same locker room with guys that you usually play against and get to know them. That's one of the most fun things is getting to know these guys."

For Haren, who started his career with the Cardinals before moving to the A's and now D-backs, getting to know new people comes with the territory. This is his second All-Star Game, first in the NL.

"Every time I get comfortable it seems I go somewhere else," he said. "I was starting to get comfortable in the American League last year, starting to know the guys and know the guys around the league. Now, there are a lot of new faces in here, I've got to introduce myself to a lot of them."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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