Dan Haren Sees Jered Weaver’s 15 Strikeouts & Raises Him One Complete Game Shutout

In an interview prior to this evening’s game, Dan Haren was asked about Jered Weaver’s stellar, personal single game strikeout record breaking performance on Sunday. He laughed and responded in an affectionate sounding tone that it was getting harder and harder to follow Weaver in the rotation. How do you follow a performance like that? Well, if you’re Dan Haren, you stride out to the mound, throw first pitch breaking ball strikes and other nasty stuff and pitch a one-hit complete game shutout! Boys? This one-upmanship thing? It’s seriously working for me. You can keep that right on up all season. Please!

This evening’s 2 – 0 win over the Indians was, quite simply, one of the best games I have been privileged enough to attend. I am absolutely euphoric as I sit here typing this and, at the beginning of the evening (Hey, I haven’t gone to bed yet, so it’s still the same evening!), I had no reason to believe I would even be in a good mood. I never leave work when I intend to and this evening was no exception. Still, I was making good enough time plop into my seat next to Seth more or less when the teams were delivering their lineup cards…until the freeway came to a dead halt a mere two offramps from my destination around a five car fender bender, roughly 15 minutes before first pitch.

Near the end of the second inning, and in quite a foul mood at this point, I finally set off across the parking lot toward the Big A. Thirty feet from the stadium gate, my ticket flew out of my hand, well out of my reach and looked ready to disappear entirely before I could do anything about it, when a tall gentleman in an Indians jersey reached out with long arms, snagged the runaway ticket and handed it back to me. I could have hugged him. I burst into the biggest grin and literally exclaimed My hero! Thank you!! I finally arrived at my seats, mood much improved but still bummed that I had missed two full innings plus an additional batter. But all it took to bring my mood full circle to excitement was a glimpse of that glorious field and the pitching display going on in front of me…that and the fact that my husband already bought us dinner so I didn’t have to miss another pitch, even though it was easily my turn to do this. What a guy!

Fortunately my comedy of errors getting to the game did not extend to the field. What. A. Game! Dan Haren! Peter Bourjos’ first homerun of the season. Dan Haren! Mark Trumbo’s first major league homerun ever! Oh, and did I mention Dan Haren? ;) And then, just when it looked like the Indians were going to get a solid extra bases hit with the potential to bust the game wide open, who should come flying from right to center and seemingly straight up the high part of the wall but Spiderman himself, Torii Hunter. No lie, in the middle of one of the best pitching performances I have seen live at the stadium, this was one of the best catches I have ever seen live at the stadium. You will surely see it on the end of the week highlight reels. But even with that play, this was entirely Dan Haren’s show. He never let a runner get to second the entire game. He got the leadoff hitter out in all nine innings. He struck out eight batters. And it looked like he was able to throw all of his pitches for strikes tonight. It was a masterful performance.

The other fun thing about this game was we wound up having some of the best seats possible to appreciate it from. I am kind of a ticket snob, though economics have tempered this tendency considerably, and I had never sat in the upper deck before. But I really wanted to go to this game, I just had a feeling about it, and the tickets that met my strict price limits were in the front row of the lowest part of the upper deck, a section and a half behind third base. I have sat much closer before, but this was one of the clearest views I have ever enjoyed of the ball sailing over home plate…that and I had a great vantage for Torii’s catch and both homeruns. Really, especially considering how it started, I could not have asked for a better evening. We were even surrounded by enthusiastic fans, not as much a given as you might like to think. I cheered and yelled and cheered some more pretty much the entire game. I was happily quite hoarse by the time Haren fielded one last grounder and tossed it to Mark Trumbo at first for the final out…almost looking like he was going to run it over and get the out himself.

I can see myself at work tomorrow with a big giant grin on my face, and that, dear coworkers, is why I sound like Kathleen Turner today. Ha ha, I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way. Sorry, couldn’t resist. ;)

Dan Haren, sitting ‘em down one by one (Our view was not quite as far away as this photo would lead one to believe):

20110412 Dan Haren Shutout 1 - For Blog.jpg

Look past the big screen with Haren’s post game interview and the note the Halo in it’s happiest natural state, all light up like Christmas:

20110412 Dan Haren Shutout 5 - for blog.jpg

12 Comments

That sounds like an awesome game to be at! Thanks for sharing the pics!

Ron

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/

Very exciting about Haren! And combined with the exploits of Weaver, it sounds like the pitching is impressive. I’m jealous. :)

http://www.janeheller.com/confessionsblog

I love those seats. For several years I had upper deck seats behind home plate at Wrigley before moving down to the lower deck box. I may be closer to the field now, but you can’t get that great overall view of the park like you can from *good* UD seats.

And like I said on your last post, Haren was great last night. I’ve seen all his starts this year and the guy just seems to be focused and ready to make Every Single Pitch count.
http://wrigleyregular.mlblogs.com/

Ahhh …. Danny Haren… can’t help but think of how awesome the Cards would be if they still had him alongside Waino and Carp. Alas, we had to have a year of Mulder and injury woes ad nauseum ever after….
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Ron – It was such a fun game! You’re welcome.
Jane – Thanks, they are just both amazing right now…then we get to the 4th and 5th spots and I start to get queasy. Hopefully Pineiero is able to come off the DL soon.
Russel – They turned out to be pretty sweet seats. Now that I know, I won’t hesitate to grab them again. I think being on a team where he is the second ace instead of the only ace has inspired Haren to even greater focus. If he and Weaver can keep pushing each other all season it can only be good for the team.
Jeff – Eh, hind sight is 20/20 and all that. Look at the Scott Kazmir deal. That seemed brilliant to me at the time, LOL. Besides, he might not be the same pitcher if he stayed with the Cards. You never know how much of a player’s development is self-motivated and how much of is having to impress a new team all over again every few years.
– Kristen

“Yikes” is the perfect word for the current streak of extra-innings games that seems to be going around the league(s). At the bottom of the 8th inning between the Sox and the Angels tomorrow, I think I’ll put on a pot of coffee and make myself some spaghetti. Get myself adequately caffeinated and carb-loaded to make it through the inevitable 27 innings we’ll probably have to endure.
-K,
Watching the Dandelions Grow

“Yikes” is the perfect word for the current streak of extra-innings games that seems to be going around the league(s). At the bottom of the 8th inning between the Sox and the Angels tomorrow, I think I’ll put on a pot of coffee and make myself some spaghetti. Get myself adequately caffeinated and carb-loaded to make it through the inevitable 27 innings we’ll probably have to endure.
-K,
Watching the Dandelions Grow

Sounds like a great game! A one-hit shutout could certainly cure any foul mood of mine :)
Catherine
http://chisoxblog.mlblogs.com/

Wow, what a heck of a view. Wish I could go to Yankee games! But I’m 1) not rich enough to pay for their seats! and 2) live in Iowa, bit difficult lol

-Alissa
http://lookatthatpitch.mlblogs.com/

Keleigh – Coffee and carbo loading, eh? Sounds like a plan to me, though over here I’m more likely to dive for the wine, even if they just play the standard nine. :)
Catherine – It was a completely mood altering game, that’s for sure. I still get a big silly grin thinking about it.
Alissa – Angels fans are lucky in that we can usually find cheap tickets on the fan sale sites, I know that’s harder at other stadiums and have heard Yankees games are expensive. I think the commute from Iowa certainly adds a level of difficult though or, you know, like 25. ;) I don’t know what part of Iowa you live in, but maybe you could plan a weekend one of these seasons to go see the Yankees play the Royals or the White Sox.
— Kristen

Well The Angels might have the best 1-2 punch in the American League and that’s a FACT, but do they have the best 1-2 punch in the Major Leagues? I say No but there close the phillies do with Halladay and Lee back to back complete games earlier this week you’ll be seeing more of that this season and if it wasn’t for the 9th inning on Wed it would of been back to back shutouts how bout that. Both teams could be the only two to have two starters in the all-star game. Yes I know there’s other good 1-2 combos in baseball like in Milwaukee but Zac hasn’t even pitched yet so we can’t judge them yet.
Go Phillies and Angels that would be a bad match-up if they were to meet in the World Series. The Angels should are a good team it’s too bad they have Texas in there Div.

BigEJac – You’re right. I don’t know that I would say Weaver and Haren are quite as strong a 1-2 pitching combo as Halladay and Lee but they’re certainly up there. Weaver and Haren also don’t have an Oswalt or a Hamels following them at the moment. I hope you’re right about the All-Star game, that would be fun. As for the rest, Texas is tough, that’s for sure, but I think the Angels can compete this season…though I’m not thrilled that we have the weak part of our rotation facing them starting Monday. Thanks for dropping by my blog!
— Kristen

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