In researching the best games of Dan Haren's 2 and 1/3 seasons in Anaheim, I am struck first by how terrible the 2010 Angels were. After being acquired in late July from the Diamondbacks, Haren pitched in four Angels games where he allowed two ER or less in at least 7 IP and the offense blew it. A complete game 2-1 loss to Texas at home on July 31 sticks out as the raw deal Dan's "Winning" reputation was dealt on his arrival in Anaheim.
Here then, are the five best games of Dan Haren's 509 Innings Pitched as an Angel.
#1 - April 12, 2011 - The One Hitter
The Angels beat the Cleveland Indians 2-0 on the strength of a 1 hitter by Haren. The Complete Game Shutout happened in front of the hometown faithful. Dan came out for the ninth inning with Jordan Walden's theme music playing. Besides two early walks in the game, the only hit of the night for the Tribe was a fourth inning single by Shin Soo Choo. It was Choo who grounded out on Dan's 125th pitch of the night in the top of the ninth inning to seal the W-CG-SO-1H.
#2 - July 5, 2011 - The Two Hitter
The Angels beat the Detroit Tigers in Anaheim with a Complete Game Shutout by Dan Haren. Justin Verlander's nemesis Erick Aybar doubled in Howie Kendrick in the second inning and for once that was all the Angel would need in support of Dan. Verlander walked two and struck out eight but Dan walked none and struck out nine. Dan's WPA of .720 was the highest single-game mark of his Angels career, an was one of two games as a Halo where his WPA was over - the other being the number one game listed above.
#3 - May 24, 2012 - The 14K Road Warrior
As documented in WiHaloFan's excellent GIF-FEST, Dan's 14 strikeout shutout of Seattle in the SafeCo Kingdome was a masterpiece, and as the Angels had juuuuust started to turn it around, probably served to give the season much more hope than perhaps we should have allowed ourselves.
#4 - September 10, 2011 - The Closest We Got Also Avenged a Craven Pregame Tribute
After play on September 10, 2011, the Angels were 1.5 games behind the Texas Rangers. They had almost gone to eight back just two and a half weeks earlier when Mark Trumbo hit a walkoff homerun. From that point of six games back the Angels clawed up this far - Dan Haren shutout C.C. Sabathia and the Yankees 6-0 in a game that will be most remembered as featuring the pregame announcement of a painting awarded to Derek Jeter by the gutless carpetbagging Yankee-lover contingent of the Angels front office jocksniffer big wigs Dennis Kuhl and John Carpino.
On the field, though, Dan Haren scattered four hits, walked none and struck out seven to gain a game in the standings.
#5 - April 9, 2011 - Fourteenth Inning Relief
In his only relief appearance as an Angel, Dan pitched a 1-2-3 fourteenth inning at home against the Blue Jays. He was rewarded with a W when Maicer Izturis drove in Peter Bourjos with two outs in the bottom of the inning for the victory. Considering how many low-scoring seven and eight inning outings of one-run ball Dan pitched for the Angels only to get the loss, it was great he got the maximum reward for a short and sweet effort. Three nights later he pitched his best game as an Angel according to this list.