Haeger has Torre's confidence in five spot

Haeger has Torre's confidence in five spot

WASHINGTON -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre said his fifth starter will continue to be Charlie Haeger, who is 0-2 with a 6.46 ERA after three starts and one relief appearance.

Haeger took Friday night's loss, charged with four runs (three earned) in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed a pair of home runs to Adam Dunn accounting for three of the runs (two earned).

"Right now, when you look at the final numbers, he kept us in the game," Torre said. "Yeah, I have no reason to change anything right now. He has some versatility. But until somebody pops up and shows something different, I have no plans to change."

Haeger's start on Friday night was much improved over his previous start against the Giants, when he allowed seven runs (five earned) with five walks in three-plus innings. Friday night he walked one, despite falling behind to 16 of the 23 batters he faced.

"With a knuckleball pitcher it's remarkable, you never look at the pitch count," Torre said. "You sit back, and whatever it is, it is. You don't get too upset about ball-three."

Last year, the Dodgers were remarkably successful (30-16) in games started by the so-called fifth spot in the rotation -- in other words, by someone other than Hiroki Kuroda, Randy Wolf, Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw.