Dan Haren cannot put a finger on why he is not seeing better results this season.
The veteran right-hander has had quality starts on a few occasions, but his ERA has barely dipped below 5.00. The latest rough-up came in Haren's last outing against the Mets, when he allowed five runs on seven hits in five innings of what turned out to be a 10-1 loss for the Nationals.
By the time Haren takes the mound Tuesday against the Rockies, he will have had six days to mull over his last appearance and regroup before attempting to collect his fifth win of the season.
"It's not for lack of trying. I'm going out there, I'm doing my best," Haren said after his last start. "Like I said before, I feel like I'm letting down the team, fans, front office, everybody. No one feels worse about it than me, but I've got to take the ball in five days, and I've got to believe because the team needs me. And I know I'm good. I've been good at times this year. Just no consistency whatsoever."
Haren has also struggled with keeping the ball in the park. He has served up 15 homers this season, which ties him for the second-worst mark in the Majors. And that number could inflate Tuesday as the Rockies finished Sunday with 83 home runs as a team, good for third in the big leagues.
Despite being supported by that powerful offense, Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin has not won a game since April 19.
Chacin has not lost in a while, either; his last decision came on May 16. In his last start on Thursday, he gave up all five of the Padres' runs and struck out four in 5 1/3 innings.
"I started getting behind in the count, and after that I had to throw strikes," Chacin said.
The 25-year-old right-hander is 3-3 this season with a 4.59 ERA, and is 1-2 in his career against the Nationals.
Rockies: Cuddyer misses third straight game
Rockies right fielder Michael Cuddyer missed his third contest in a row Sunday with a strain in his rib cage. However, he said after the Rockies' loss that he anticipates returning Tuesday.
"He had a bunch of treatment today, he had another day off tomorrow and we're hoping for Tuesday," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said before the game.
It does not seem like the ailment will force Cuddyer to the disabled list, where he spent some time earlier this season with an inflamed cervical disk.
When he has been healthy, Cuddyer has been productive. In 45 games, Cuddyer is hitting .339 with 10 homers, 37 RBIs and a 1.000 OPS.
Nationals: Desmond extends streak
Ian Desmond had three hits against the Twins in Game 1 of a Sunday doubleheader, and he knocked an RBI double in the nightcap. The day's work extended the shortstop's hitting streak to 12 games, which marks a career high.
The streak began on May 27 against the Orioles, and Desmond is hitting .340 (16-for-47) in that stretch. The streak includes three multi-hit games, and Sunday's afternoon game was the first time he had more than two hits during the span.
• Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon has reached base safely in nine straight games, going 11-for-30 (.367) over two stints with Washington.
• Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino now owns a 1.62 ERA (six earned runs in 33 1/3 innings) in his 20 games this season.
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.