Aces set to collide in Spring Training duel
Mariners send Lee to the mound opposite D-backs' Haren
TUCSON, Ariz. -- It may only be a Spring Training game, but the pitching matchup for Monday's Cactus League game between the Mariners and D-backs reads like one for Game 1 of a playoff series.
Cliff Lee vs. Dan Haren.
It might not be the only time the two face each other this spring.
"I'll probably see him twice in a row because we'll both probably throw Saturday too," Haren said.
For Haren, this will be his third start of the spring. The right-hander, who will start on Opening Day for the D-backs, has been sharp thus far not allowing a run in 4 2/3 spring innings.
Haren's most recent outing was a 2 2/3-inning stint against the Dodgers during which he threw his split-finger fastball for the first time this spring.
"I felt the ball was coming out of my hand a little better today," Haren said after throwing 49 pitches. "I used more off-speed stuff. And my fastball felt like it had a little bit of life to it. I'm still not out there max effort, but overall, I felt really good."
Lee, acquired from the Phillies in an offseason blockbuster trade, will be making his second Cactus League start and is expected to go at least four innings and throw around 60-65 pitches.
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Spring Training Info
Held back during the early stages of Spring Training because of the surgery he had to remove a bone spur from his left foot, the American League Cy Young Award winner in 2008 with the Indians made his spring debut on March 10 against the Rangers.
Lee surrendered five hits and one run to the division rivals over three innings. He threw 46 pitches, 36 of them for strikes.
Lee said he was satisfied with his first outing, during which he worked on locating his fastball and mixing up his breaking pitches. He bent at times, but he didn't break. He was a bit high in the zone, but that will straighten itself out as the spring innings compile.
Haren said he is looking forward to seeing Lee pitch.
"If it were the regular season, I would be even more," Haren said. "But it's still fun to watch a guy like that go out there and throw especially since it's like his second time off the mound this spring, so it will be interesting to see."