Cubs’ Dan Haren: ‘I haven’t held up my end of the bargain’

SHARE Cubs’ Dan Haren: ‘I haven’t held up my end of the bargain’
SHARE Cubs’ Dan Haren: ‘I haven’t held up my end of the bargain’

SAN FRANCISCO – Dan Haren has pitched in seven postseason games, including two in a World Series.

But without something more from the veteran right-hander acquired at the trade deadline, the Cubs could have a trouble down the stretch getting him another October chance during what he expects to be his final season.

“I’ve got to be better,” Haren said after a three-run homer by Marlon Byrd all but eliminated any chance for a victory against Madison Bumgarner during Thursday’s 9-1 loss to the Giants.

The Cubs lost their first series of at least three games since last month against the Phillies. And it doesn’t get any easier with three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw pitching against them Friday in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Haren hasn’t provided the help the Cubs expected for the stretch run in a rotation that has had problems at the back end all season.

Despite going six innings for the first time as a Cub (6 1/3), he fell to 1-2 with a 6.31 in five starts – after going 7-7 with a 3.42 ERA in 21 for the Miami Marlins this season.

“I really haven’t held up my end of the bargain,” said Haren, who has had no problem settling into a comfort zone with new teammates.

“The guys have been great. It’s been amazing honestly,” he said. “It’s been first class all the way. I’ve been impressed and surprised how good it’s been.”

Manager Joe Maddon put an upbeat spin on Thursday’s start, noting how well Haren pitched outside of the home run ball to a guy who has been a personal thorn in Haren’s career.

Overall, Maddon said Haren has been “as advertised” – a guy who gives up home runs, but usually with nobody on base, and who competes with mid-80s velocity.

“A consummate professal,” Maddon said.

“I feel worse about it than anybody,” he said. “But we’ve got games left. And I can either whine and complain and feel sorry for myself or just move on and try to be better the next time.

“I’ll do anything for this team. I just want us to win.”

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