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On this date: Aaron Harang strikes out nine in a row

Still trying to figure out how

New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers

On this date eight years ago, the most unlikely pitcher in Dodgers history set a franchise record when he struck out nine consecutive Padres hitters.

On a Friday night in 2012, Aaron Harang took the mound for the Dodgers. At the age of 34, it was the only season he spent with LA during his 14-year career. He allowed a single to Cameron Maybin to begin the game, and that is when the streak began.

Here’s how it played out:

  • Will Venable strikeout swinging (5 pitches)
  • Chase Headley strikeout swinging (3 pitches)
  • Yonder Alonso strikeout swinging (5 pitches)
  • Jeremy Hermida strikeout swinging (5 pitches)
  • Orlando Hudson strikeout swinging (3 pitches)
  • John Baker strikeout swinging (6 pitches)
  • Jason Barlett strikeout looking (9 pitches)
  • Clayton Richard strikeout swinging (4 pitches)
  • Cameron Maybin strikeout swinging (4 pitches)

Through the first three innings, all outs recorded by the Dodgers were courtesy of a strikeout from Harang.

Harang got off to a shaky start to begin the fourth inning. Facing Venable, he threw three straight balls. After a called strike on the fourth pitch, Venable hit a homer to left field on the fifth pitch.

The nine strikeouts in a row set a Dodgers record, topping the eight consecutive strikeouts from Johnny Podres against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 2, 1962. Harang was one away from tying the major-league record of 10 set by Tom Seaver in 1970 against the Mets.

Harang finished the game with 13 strikeouts, which tied a career-high for him. Throughout his career, Harang was never much of a strikeout pitcher, which makes this that much crazier.

Aside from four starts in 2013, Harang never averaged more than nine strikeouts per nine innings during a season in his career. He only averaged 6.6 per nine innings with LA in 2012. In fact, he only had double-digit strikeouts 14 times out of his 381 career starts.

But yet, somehow, Harang accomplished what no other Dodgers pitcher has accomplished that night. It’s a feat that we may never see topped in our lifetime. Another reason why baseball is the greatest sport in the world.