05/31/10 7:40 PM ET
Haren looks for turnaround vs. Dodgers
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
The D-backs will visit the Dodgers on Tuesday for the second game in the series between National League West rivals at Dodger Stadium, and both clubs will be looking to make a statement that can carry far beyond the first day of the season's third month.
For Haren, the right-hander who entered 2010 as one of the NL's premier Cy Young Award candidates, a recent slump hasn't really come as a surprise given the mistakes he's making.
"I've thrown plenty of innings, gotten plenty of strikeouts [and] I'm not walking anybody," Haren said. "I mean, really, it's simple. ... Really, it's just too many homers. The homer is killing me. There's no excuse for that."
Haren has already given up 16 long balls this year after surrendering 27 in 2009, when he finished the year with 223 strikeouts in 229 1/3 innings and a 3.14 ERA.
He said he'll consider working outside the strike zone a little more and that he's eager to get back on the hill.
"I'm looking forward to pitching on Tuesday," he said. "It's not like I don't want to go out there. The tough thing about being a starting pitcher is you do have to wait a few days. It's not like a hitter and you can go 0-for-5 with five strikeouts and come out the next day.
"I'm not going to just chalk it up to a bad year. There's still too much time left."
Torre realizes the very same thing, which is why the Dodgers' hot May -- the club went 20-8 in the month after winning Monday's opener vs. Arizona and is 16-5 overall against NL West foes -- doesn't have him making postseason plans just yet.
"It's early," Torre said. "I think we were going to play better and we just started playing against the division."
D-backs: Desert-bound D-Train?
The Tigers' recent designation for assignment of lefty Dontrelle Willis made news in Phoenix when the D-backs confirmed that they have interest in acquiring Willis, who was 1-2 with a 4.98 ERA in eight starts and one relief appearance for the Tigers this year. The D-backs might be a good fit for Willis, because Arizona does not have a left-handed pitcher on its big league roster. ... Right-hander Rodrigo Lopez allowed a second-inning solo home run to Manny Ramirez in Monday's game, marking the 11th consecutive game in which a D-backs pitcher has allowed a homer. Arizona has given up a Major League-high 27 homers in that span since May 20.
Dodgers: Snake killers
Of the six players who have the highest career batting average against the D-backs, three are current Dodgers. According to numbers compiled by STATS, LLC, Ramirez ranks first all-time against Arizona pitching with a .420 (50-for-119) batting average. First baseman James Loney is third at .352 (77-for-219) and outfielder Andre Ethier is sixth at .344 (89-for-259). ... Ramirez's home run in Monday night's game, his 550th career roundtripper, came on the two-year anniversary of his 500th homer.
The combined 19 homers and 58 RBIs by D-backs first baseman Adam LaRoche (seven homers, 33 RBIs) and second baseman Kelly Johnson (12 homers, 25 RBIs) are tops among all first base/second-base combinations in the NL. ... The Dodgers' Tuesday starter, John Ely, had a stretch of 89 consecutive batters faced without a walk come to an end May 22, but he still ranks third in the Majors (minimum of five starts) with a 5.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio (32 strikeouts, nine walks).
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.