Dan Haren wasn’t great today, but then I’m not sure if we should really be surprised or all that disappointed about this. We’ve been talking about his home run problems for weeks now, and he was asked to pitch in Coors Field, of all places. So that he allowed two homers, one to Drew Stubbs and another to Corey Dickerson, and a triple to Charlie Culberson that went to the absolute deepest part of the park, well, who didn’t see that coming? Of course, he gave up eight runs while striking out eight and not walking a single batter, so, yeah, I really didn’t see that coming. He was terrible, just in a very weird way.
It’s incredibly difficult to fail in exactly that manner, to the point that it — “it” being “allowing eight or more earned runs while striking out eight or more without a walk” has been done all of twice in the last 100 years. Frank Tanana did it in 1976; Curt Schilling in 1998. Those guy were both really good pitchers. Haren used to be, too.
But we know what Haren is at this point, so I’d rather focus my attention on the absolutely hilarious top of the seventh inning, with Nick Masset relieving Jorge De La Rosa up 8-2. From the ESPN game log:
- A.J. Ellis ground rule double to deep right center
- Miguel Rojas walked
- Clint Robinson singled to center, Ellis scored, Rojas to third (8-3)
- Yasiel Puig doubled to deep right center, Rojas scored, Robinson to third (8-4)
- Robinson scored, Puig to third on passed ball by Wilin Rosario (8-5)
- Boone Logan relieved Masset (injury)
- Hanley Ramirez singled to center, Puig scored (8-6)
- Ramirez to second on wild pitch by Logan.
- Adrian Gonzalez walked.
- Matt Kemp walked, Ramirez to third, Gonzalez to second
- Adam Ottavino relieved Logan
- Juan Uribe grounded into double play, shortstop to second to first, Ramirez scored, Kemp out at second, Gonzalez to third (8-7)
- Andre Ethier intentionally walked
- Ellis struck out looking
I mean, just look at all that, and know that it barely does justice to what it was like to watch it live. Seven Dodgers got on base before the third Colorado pitcher of the inning, Ottavino, got an out. Four walks. A wild pitch. A passed ball. An injured pitcher. And the most Dodger thing of all, a double play with the bases loaded and none out. It was some of the most incompetent baseball I’ve ever see as far as the Rockies go, and that’s saying a lot considering they’re a team that’s won something like two games in three weeks.
Unfortunately, the inability to really break the game open with the bases loaded at the end of that inning loomed large, because despite and opportunities in the eighth — Dee Gordon singled and stole second the Dodgers never could get that tying run, despite Jamey Wright, J.P. Howell, and Brandon League keeping Colorado scoreless in relief of Haren.
But you know what? Let’s be honest for a second here. Yes, the Dodgers lost, largely because their starter was lousy and because outside of that one ridiculous inning, the offense somehow couldn’t do much against De La Rosa and friends. (I know it seems weird to complain about the offense in a game where they scored seven, but you get the point.) I’m bummed about that. So are you. But I’m not really that bummed by it, because the crazy seventh made the last bit of the game entertaining, and because in the bottom of the eighth, Puig did, well, this:
And he even hit the cutoff man! How can you even be upset by a loss after that? This game, the best game.