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Haren to make adjustments in next start

Haren to make adjustments in next start

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dan Haren's stat line is stunning: 5.35 ERA and 16 home runs in 74 innings.

Those are not numbers you usually see for a man who has pitched in the last three All-Star Games and is regarded as one of the better pitchers in the game. Yet that's where Haren stands following a Thursday start where he allowed eight runs in 6 1/3 innings.

One day later, he was asked where he goes from here.

"I think taking a step back and thinking about what's gone on," Haren said. "It's been 11 starts. I've thrown plenty of innings, gotten plenty of strikeouts, I'm not walking anybody. I mean, really it's simple. I'm giving up too many homers and a few too many hits, but really it's just too many homers. The homer is killing me. There's no excuse for that."

The one thing he is certain about is that it's not a mechanical problem or a lack of stuff.

"I get guys to swing and miss quite a bit," he said.

Haren does not walk many hitters, which means they know he's going to be in the strike zone a lot. He may alter that and see if that helps.

"Maybe it's changing my philosophy a little bit and pitching outside the strike zone a little more, nibbling a little more," Haren said.

There was some thought that he was throwing too many cutters, so in his last couple of outings, he has thrown the cutter a little less and tried to go inside more with his fastball.

"It's not that it's the cutter, it's the location of it -- up and out over the plate," Haren said. "I can hit a little bit. If I see a cutter hanging out, middle third of the plate, up in the zone, that's a pitch that I want to hit. It's about making the pitches. I feel like I'm making a lot of really good pitches and a lot of really bad pitches."

Haren will get a chance to try some of the adjustments Tuesday when he faces the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

"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 think in this case it's all right, the break, being able like I said to step back and think about the year. I'm not going to just chalk it up to a bad year. There's still too much time left."

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