Dan Haren had the fewest walks allowed amongst National League starters with at least 25 starts with just 30 free passes (1.66 BB/9) issued in 162 2/3 IP for the Washington Nationals before tonight. The 32-year-old right-hander had also, however, allowed the most home runs by an NL starter this season with 28 hit off him in 30 starts and the home runs accounted, according to the Nats' pregame notes, for 45 of the 92 runs he's allowed in a Nats uniform after signing a 1-year/$13M deal this past winter. Haren's final start of the year for the Nationals took place in Chase Field tonight in Arizona, where he faced the Diamondbacks he pitched for from 2008-2010 in the next-to-last game of the 2013 campaign. Haren gave up a two-out single to right by Paul Goldschmidt, but completed a scoreless opening frame after 17 pitches.
D-Backs' right-hander Brandon McCarthy needed 20 pitches to retire the first six Nationals he faced in the second game of three in the final series of the season for both teams. Diamondbacks' second baseman Chris Owings doubled to left on a 2-2 splitter from Dan Haren with two down in the home-half of the second, and shortstop Didi Gregorious worked an 11-pitch, two-out walk, but the Nats' starter's second scoreless frame ended when McCarthy K'd looking at an 0-2 cutter on Haren's 27th pitch of the inning. 44 overall after two. 0-0 in Chase Field.
Nine pitches got Brandon McCarthy three outs in the top of the third as he set down the seventh, eighth and ninth straight batters to start the game. 29 pitches in three scoreless. Dan Haren's nine-pitch fourth had him up to 53 pitches after three. Jayson Werth's hit the third straight grounder of the fourth to second base, and got the first one through for a two-out single to right, but Bryce Harper's groundout to the right side of the infield gave McCarthy four scoreless after he lost his no-hit bid. A 13-pitch fourth had him up to 42 overall. Werth tracked Martin Prado's long fly to right down for the first out of Arizona's fourth. Ian Desmond handled Miguel Montero's sharp groundout to short. D-Backs' third baseman Matt Davidson got a two-out double by his counterpart in the Nationals' infield, but Chris Owings' grounder to short ended an 11-pitch inning that left Haren at 64 after four.
Wilson Ramos took the first walk of the game with one down in the top of the fifth and Chad Tracy connected for the Nats' second hit in the next at bat, singling to right to put two on in front of Steve Lombardozzi, but Lombardozzi grounded into a force at second for the second out of the frame and Dan Haren grounded out to end Brandon McCarthy's fifth scoreless inning. 0-0 in AZ. 62 pitches for McCarthy after a 20-pitch sixth. A 14-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the inning had Haren up to 78 pitches after five scoreless innings of his own.
Denard Span tripled on a first-pitch change from Brandon McCarthy to start the sixth with his Major League-best 11th three-base hit of the season. An RBI groundout by Ryan Zimmerman brought the first run of the game in, putting the Nationals up 1-0 after five and a half in Chase Field. McCarthy's 18-pitch inning had him up to 80 pitches total. Dan Haren's nine-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth had him up to 87. 1-0 Nationals.
Make that 2-0 Nationals. Chad Tracy took a 2-1 cutter from Brandon McCarthy to right field and onto the deck of the pool for a solo home run that gave Washington a 2-0 lead after six and a half. McCarthy's 13-pitch seventh had him up to 93 pitches. Chris Owings lined to center for a two-out hit off of Dan Haren in the D-Backs' seventh, but Didi Gregorius' lineout to second ended Haren's seventh scoreless inning. 20-pitch inning for Haren. 107 overall after seven scoreless. 2-0 Nats.
• Haren's Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 107 P, 77 S, 8/3 GO/FO.
David Hernandez retired the Nationals in order in a 1-2-3 top of the eighth inning. Drew Storen took over for Dan Haren in the bottom of the inning and threw an eight-pitch frame. Brad Ziegler retired the first two batters of the ninth before walking Chad Tracy. Steve Lombardozzi's two-out single got Zach Walters an at bat, but he grounded back to the mound for the third out of the inning.
"Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano!" Rafael Soriano came out in the top of the ninth looking for his 43rd save of 2013. Paul Goldschmidt flew out to deeep center where Denard Span made the catch for out no.1. ONE! Martin Prado lined to center for a one-out single that brought the tying run to the plate. Miguel Montero walked to put two on in front of Matt Davidson. A wild pitch from Soriano moved both runners into scoring position but Davidson chased a two-strike slider into the dirt for out no.2. TWO!! Chris Owings popped out to left-center to end it. 2-0 final.
Nationals now 86-75