Angels’ Dan Haren is embarrassed, but Mike Scioscia is supportive

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By Mike DiGiovanna
Los Angeles Times

August 21, 2010

Reporting from Minneapolis

It was hard to tell who was tougher on Dan Haren on Friday night, the Minnesota Twins or Haren.

After giving up seven runs and 11 hits, including Jason Kubel’s three-run homer, in seven innings of a 7-2 loss, Haren said he was “embarrassed with the way I threw the ball,” calling his performance since his July 25 trade from Arizona “unacceptable.”

Mike Scioscia thought Haren, who is 1-4 with a 4.39 earned-run average in six starts with the Angels, was too hard on himself, a topic that came up in the manager’s closed-door meeting with Haren before Saturday’s game.

“He’s a little frustrated,” Scioscia said. “He knows what he means to the team. He’s a competitor who is very accountable to his performance. He’s pitched well for us. We haven’t supported him.”

Indeed, the Angels have scored 15 runs in Haren’s six games. But Haren didn’t help himself Friday, hanging an ill-advised curve to Kubel, who crushed it for a homer that gave Minnesota a 4-0 lead.

Haren called the pitch “a stupid mistake” because “we went over in pregame about not throwing him any breaking balls.”

Scioscia said that portrayal wasn’t accurate. The problem wasn’t pitch selection; it was the count (2-1) and location (up and over).

“There are still some adjustments with Dan and our catchers, that’s to be expected,” Scioscia said. “The important thing is that a pitcher commits to a pitch.

“On that particular pitch, in talking with Dan, maybe he was a little unsure what he wanted to do, and he went with it. It didn’t look like he threw that pitch with the purpose he usually does.”

Century mark

The Angels will not win 100 games this season, as they did in 2008, but they hit triple figures in one category Saturday, trotting out their 100th different lineup against the Twins.

“It’s a milestone,” Scioscia joked. “We’re proud of it.”

Considering how every Angel, with the exception of Torii Hunter and possibly Howie Kendrick, has underachieved, Scioscia is not surprised.

“We’ve evolved into a couple of different looks