Haren set to pitch against Marlins on Tuesday

Haren set to pitch against Marlins on Tuesday

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Dan Haren will pitch against the Marlins in Jupiter, Fla., on Tuesday afternoon.

Haren had the choice to pitch in a Minor League game at the team's complex, but he felt he would be motivated by pitching against the Marlins. Haren then decided to spend the night in Jupiter on Monday in order to be ready to play the next day.

The last time Haren pitched in Jupiter was March 15, and he allowed five runs in five innings against the Cardinals.

"It was unrealistic just making that long of a drive [to Jupiter], getting out and trying to get your adrenaline up to pitch. It's tough," Haren said. "So I talked to [general manager Mike Rizzo], and he thought the smartest thing to do was to stay back and throw a Minor League game or go to Jupiter the night before. I didn't want to do a Minor League game just because it's hard enough to get your adrenaline up right now. I didn't want the last start before the season [to be] a Minor League game. I thought it was smarter to do a big league game."

In five games this spring, Haren has allowed 13 runs in 19 1/3 innings.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.