Juan Nicasio may have pitched better on Saturday, but Aaron Harang pitched longer, and got the win.
The Dodgers played in their 16th one-run game in 33 contests this season on Saturday night in their 2-1 win over the Colorado Rockies. They are 10-6 in one-run games on the season, including 7-2 at Dodger Stadium. Saturday's win was fueled largely by a pair of San Diego State Aztecs, Aaron Harang and Tony Gwynn Jr.
Harang pitched eight innings, allowing just one run on four hits and two walks. He only struck out two, but had a solid defense behind him.
"I was able to locate all my pitches and really kept them off balance, and the defense was there to back me up," Harang said.
The key defensive play was by James Loney in the third inning, with his diving grab of a ball hit by Marco Scutaro, then quick throw him to nail catcher Wilin Rosario at the plate to keep the game scoreless at the time.
"I saw that I had a chance," said Loney. "I just got up really quick and tried to throw it."
"I'm going nuts there. That's one of those 'No, no, no!' great plays," manager Don Mattingly said. "James does some amazing things. He's got a big arm and he's able to do some things over there that a lot of guys can't do because of the strength of his arm."
Mattingly was going to pull Harang after seven innings, but he pitcher convinced his manager to remain in the game.
"I thought about taking him out there but he said he felt great," Mattingly said. "He's one of those guys who's honest. If he's out of gas he'll tell you."
"He basically told me I had those last three guys, and if CarGo came up he would go to Scott Elbert," said Harang, who was able to retire the Rockies in order in the eighth inning.
Harang's spot in the batting order came up in the eighth inning, which brought Gwynn to the plate with Loney on second base. Gwynn said that with two strikes against Matt Belisle he was trying to keep his swing short and keep from chasing anything in the dirt. But Gwynn, like he has all season, has tried to simplify things even further.
"One of the things I wanted to work on going into this year was eliminating the pressure of hitting with runners in scoring position. I try not worrying about runners out there and approach it as if it was an at-bat with nobody on," Gwynn said. "I tried to eliminate that distraction and get to 'see ball, hit ball.'"
Gwynn is 6-for-13 so far this season with runners in scoring position, with six runs batted in.