Every once in a while baseball history will reach up and grab you when you least expect it. Friday night at Dodger Stadium, Aaron Harang made his second start in six days against the San Diego Padres. He got hung with the loss on Sunday at Petco Park, allowing four runs and a slew of baserunners while not getting out of the fifth, and afterward said he felt anxiety facing his former team.
"I felt like I was pitching tense out there. When you do that, you're going to scuffle, and miss location, up and down in the zone," Harang said on Sunday.
On Friday, Harang looked anything but tense, at least to start. Cameron Maybin opened the game with a single to center field, then Harang did the following:
Will Venable: struck out swinging
Chase Headley: struck out swinging
Yonder Alonso: struck out swinging
Jeremy Hermida: struck out swinging
Orlando Hudson: struck out swinging
John Baker: struck out swinging
Jason Bartlett: struck out looking
Clayton Richard: struck out swinging
Maybin: struck out swinging
That's nine straight strikeouts for Harang, setting a new Dodgers record, surpassing Johnny Podres, who struck out eight straight Phillies on July 2, 1962. The nine consecutive strikeouts is one shy of Tom Seaver's MLB record, set April 22, 1970, also against the Padres.
Of course the baseball gods, perhaps seeing things a tad askew, set things straight as Harang gave up three runs in the fourth inning. But no matter what happens, Harang will always have those nine straight strikeouts and a lasting Dodger memory.
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