The harder he tried the more the solution evaded Dan Haren. He watched video to find a mechanical flaw. He pored over sabermetric statistics hoping they might reveal a fresh answer or at least a measure of solace. He switched grips and altered the speed of his pitches. Nothing brought back the pitcher he used to be.
Haren made a decision as he spent 15 days on the disabled list in late June the result of which reverberated again Saturday night in the Washington Nationals’ 3-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Haren chose simplicity. Keep the ball down and just pitch he told himself.
The approach turned Haren’s season around and continued to reap dividends as he steamrolled the Brewers for seven scoreless innings over 102 pitches at Miller Park allowing four hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Milwaukee second baseman Rickie Weeks cracked a double to lead off the game. He would be the last Brewer to reach scoring position against Haren.
“Going on the DL was just kind of a ch...