Haren, D-backs suffer tough loss in Atlanta
Righty lasts season-low 4 1/3 frames; Snakes total three hits
ATLANTA -- It is no longer about assigning blame for the struggles that have landed the D-backs in last place 38 games into the season.
It's about accountability.
D-backs manager A.J. Hinch made that crystal clear following a 13-1 loss to the Braves on Sunday afternoon at Turner Field.
"No one should be pointing fingers," Hinch said. "We should all be looking in the mirror, myself included."
It seemed like the D-backs had turned a corner Saturday night, when they snapped a seven-game losing streak with an 11-1 win over the Braves. With ace Dan Haren on the mound Sunday, the D-backs were positioned to win the series.
Haren, though, was not the Haren the D-backs have grown accustomed to seeing during his two-plus years in Sedona Red.
"That's as bad as I've been as a Diamondback probably," Haren said. "I didn't have it. Nothing behind the ball. I was in trouble early, couldn't put anyone away. I was really pitching with the cutter. That was the only thing I really had. Struggled to throw strikes. I guess it was just one of those days. It definitely didn't feel good."
The first batter of the game for Atlanta, Martin Prado, hit a home run to left, and the Braves added another later in the frame to go up 2-0.
"You don't expect to get a lot off of [Haren] at all," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He's one of the top guys for me in the league. It's all about location, I suppose. He must have made a couple of bad pitches here and there. I like him. He's hard to hit. He's slow and deliberate. He's got a split-finger and knows where the ball is going most of the time."
Not on this day, though.
Atlanta grabbed a 3-0 lead in the fourth, and things started to get out of hand in the fifth, when the Braves scored four and chased Haren to the showers.
"Warming up in the bullpen, I didn't feel great, but a lot of times you go out there and figure it out," Haren said. "I was really fighting myself. I was looking for stuff that wasn't there."
That should not have been enough reason for the D-backs to get blown out like they did, according to Hinch.
"So what? He didn't have his good stuff, big deal," Hinch said. "We've got to find a way to overcome adversity and play better."
Instead, the D-backs managed just three hits and watched as the Braves continued to pile on the runs.
"I expected more today," Hinch said. "I'm waiting for that day where we show up consistently, and even if we don't play perfectly, fight through some adversity and keep it close and see where the end of the game takes us. I usually can come up with some pretty good answers and explanations, but I'm not today."
It didn't help that Atlanta starter Tim Hudson (4-1) had things working right from the start of the game.
The right-hander struck out the side in the first, and the only run he allowed came when a Chris Young groundout scored Adam LaRoche in the second inning. In his eight innings, Hudson struck out six and walked just one.
"You could tell pretty early that Hudson was going to have his way with us," Hinch said. "He pitched a very good game. He's a very good pitcher."
The D-backs now head to Florida for a two-game series against the Marlins before returning to Phoenix.
"We're just a lot better team than we're showing," LaRoche said. "You can't say that forever. As hitters, we're still striking out way too much. We've got a ways to go, but we show flashes like [Saturday] and earlier in the season of what we're capable of, but you've got to put it together more than two or three days a week. We'll be fine. I don't think anybody is panicking, so we're all right."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.