Scioscia defends Haren after rough outing

Scioscia defends Haren after rough outing

MINNEAPOLIS -- Dan Haren, in the wake of another frustrating loss on Friday night, said he was "embarrassed" by his performance with the Angels. His manager felt Haren, an All-Star with few peers acquired from Arizona on July 25 for Joe Saunders and three other pitchers, was being too harsh in his self-judgment.

"I think he's being a little hard on himself," Scioscia said. "He's a little frustrated. We know what his impact is going to mean to our team. He's a competitor and is accountable to his performance. He has pitched well. We haven't supported him in some areas. This guy's good, and he's going to really help us."

Haren is 1-4 with a 4.39 ERA in six starts for the Angels after going 7-8 with a 4.60 ERA for the D-backs. His offense has produced a total of 14 runs (2.3 per game) in his support, and the defense has been less than airtight. He remained at his locker, alone with his thoughts, after saying, "I feel bad for the guys. I'm supposed to be better than this. I am better than this."

Haren second-guessed himself for throwing a curveball to Jason Kubel resulting in a three-run homer giving the Twins a 4-0 lead in the third inning, mentioning that they'd talked about not throwing breaking balls to the Twins' cleanup man during a pregame session.

"That wasn't exactly accurate," Scioscia said. "You have to throw curveballs to every hitter."

Asked if this meant it was simply the wrong count, at 2-1, for that pitch, the manager declined to expand. "I'm not going to get into our strategy."

Scioscia added that Haren is still getting familiar with his catchers, Jeff Mathis, Mike Napoli and Bobby Wilson.

"The important thing is that a pitcher commits to a certain pitch," Scioscia said. "Talking to Dan, he was a little unsure. It goes back to a pitcher committing to a pitch and turning it loose. Our guys are usually good at it."