Haren's gem can't end D-backs' slide

Haren's gem can't end D-backs' slide

LOS ANGELES -- When it was over, Juan Gutierrez sat in front of his locker with his head in his hands.

Across the room, outfielder Justin Upton, still in uniform, stared out into space.

Meanwhile, in the manager's office, A.J. Hinch tried to explain another loss, the ninth in a row for the D-backs -- this one a 1-0 heartbreaker to the Dodgers in 10 innings.

"Again, we come back up into the clubhouse and try to find an answer, try to find a reason, try to find what went wrong," Hinch said. "We're wearing it in a lot of ways. There's a lot of frustration, there's a lot of desperation. It's not fun."

Dan Haren looked like the ace he's been the past two years as he held the Dodgers scoreless for eight innings before finally giving way to the bullpen.

Aaron Heilman managed to get out of the ninth unscathed, but the same could not be said for Gutierrez in the 10th.

The right-hander, whose ERA stands at 10.31, retired the first batter he faced before grooving a 2-2 fastball that Matt Kemp deposited in the left-field bleachers.

Game over.

The blast came just 24 hours after the Dodgers walked off with a win courtesy of a ninth-inning balk.

Haren was asked to describe the level of frustration in the clubhouse.

"I've been answering this question for a week or two now," he said. "It's not fun. It's hard to come to the field. It's impossible not to hang your head. You look around here and it's been quiet for nine days. It's not any fun. This group in here has to find a way. We have to find a way to win a game and go from there.

"It's embarrassing," he added. "Everyone is embarrassed with the way we're playing. The amount of talent we have and the way we've started the season off is embarrassing."

The D-backs fell 13 games under .500 (20-33) and are entrenched in last place in the National League West, 11 1/2 games behind San Diego and eight games behind the fourth-place Giants. A season that once seemed to hold so much promise has evaporated with an 0-8 start to this road trip, which mercifully ends Wednesday afternoon.

"It's not good," Hinch said. "I don't know how else to describe it. You can use any adjective you want. It's gut-wrenching, it's miserable, it's a kick in the gut. It's another loss. It's nothing I can describe accurately because I've never been through something like this before. It's a constant theme of trying to find a way to win a game."

If there was a silver lining for the D-backs it's that Haren appears to be back on track. He came into the game with a 5.35 ERA and had allowed 16 home runs, including four in his previous start in Colorado.

"I've worked really hard to have a game like this," Haren said. "I came out and threw the ball better than I had, but obviously the way it ended, it hurts. Every pitch I threw it was 100 percent effort. My arm felt good, finally getting, I wouldn't say healthy, but like I have in the past. I've been getting hit around, but I think everyone else was worried about it more than I was. I mean, personally, I'll be fine. I'm confident that next time out I'll do the same."

Haren threw 126 pitches, four more than the career high he set in 2006, and his final inning was the most impressive, as he went through the top of the Dodgers' order.

"Obviously that was big tonight especially the way Haren pitched," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I mean Haren was a bulldog out there tonight. We've had some pretty good success against him but tonight he wasn't going to have any of that and pitched great."

Edwin Jackson will take the ball Wednesday against Carlos Monasterios as the D-backs try and stop the skid.

"The game isn't going to stop," Haren said. "We have to come out [Wednesday] and we have to play and we have to find a way to win. There's no pause button."

And, so far, no answers.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.