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Dan Haren Smooth Operator As Angels Temper Tigers 5-1

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Dan Haren -- Tiger Tamer
Dan Haren -- Tiger Tamer
Dan Haren pitched a complete-game of 1 run baseball and did so with only 1 strikeout recorded as he netted his 11th win of the season. In addition to the Angels putting up 5 runs of offense they also swiped 6 bases off Detroit pitching, just 1 short of the team record for most SBs in a single game (August 25, 1981 against Boston. A game in which the Angels overcame a 6-0 deficit after half an inning!).

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The Angel offense had plenty of chances to score in the early part of the game but instead left runners in scoring position in every inning through the 4th. Wasting the doubles and even a triple from Bobby Abreu. Thankfully this sort of non-sense would not be the theme for the Halos throughout the game as they were facing a young pitcher in Jacob Turner who was filling in for the recently traded Charlie Furbush.

5 stolen bases by the Angels 5th inning and yet no runs? In an effort to advance Peter Bourjos to 3rd base, ol Jeffy Premium is up to bat he does the expected, FAIL. But how you say? Popping up a bunt attempt that is caught in foul territory and failing to advance the runner. But it was an athletic out, as the little Jimmies would have you believe. After a Maicer Izturis strikeout, Torii Hunter loops one to left for an RBI single. Somewhere, you can hear the Mathis supporters saying: "Please, I beg you! For safety's sake, don't humiliate him!" My reply? Mathis does a fantastic job humiliating himself all on his own.

Later that inning, Howie Kendrick gets on base via the walk from Turner who was then lifted for RP Phil Coke. Coke facing Erick Aybar, promply surrenders a double to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. An intentional walk for Trumbo to load the bases with 1 out sends Fleet Pete up to bat with the opportunity to do some damage. Instead, he is hit by the pitch which forces home a run giving the Halos the lead at 2-1. Jeff Mathis comes up with a productive out (Sac Fly) to deep RF which scores Aybar and advances Trumbo to 3rd. Izturis is also HBP to reload the bases but to avail as Torii Hunter would fly out to end the inning.

Haren out to pitch the 7th inning and he gives up back-to-back singles to Ordonez and Cabrera putting runners at 1st and 3rd with no outs. Victor Martinez hits into a double play which can only be described as Abby Normal: grounder to Trumbo, throw to Aybar for the out at 2nd and throw home to Mathis who tags out Ordonez (after failing to touch home plate). 3-6-2. Jhonny Peralta flies out for the final out of the Detroit 7th. Unbelieveable!

Not content with a 2-run lead, Trumbo and Izturis each hit an RBI double in the 8th inning, extending the Halos to a 4-run lead. With all the run support Haren could want this afternoon, he closed the book on the Tigers all while being part of a 3-4-1 groundout at 1st for the final out.

This team has an opportunity to win a 4 game series tomorrow afternoon and will feature two of the league's best pitchers. Think about it for what we are about to see next, we must enter quietly into the realm of genius.