LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Aaron Harang #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches aginst the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Dodger Stadium on April 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Aaron Harang struck out nine-straight early in Friday night's matchup between the Dodgers and Padres. The streak, which was one off the MLB record, was ended by a homer in the fourth.
Aaron Harang had quite the start to his night. After giving up a single to Cameron Maybin, the first batter of the game, Harang settled in and got down to business. And getting down to business meant strikeouts -- lots of them, and all in a row.
Harang got out of the first without harm, striking out the next three batters he faced, all swinging. It was more of the same in the second: three up, three down. And all three struck out swinging. Sensing a theme yet?
In the third, the story changed, if only marginally. Jason Bartlett led off the inning by striking out ... looking. Order was quickly restored as pitcher Clayton Richard and Maybin both went down swinging.
For those scoring at home, that was nine-in-a-row for Harang, who was on quite the hot streak. The nine consecutive strikeouts was a Dodgers club record and one off the MLB record -- set by Tom Seaver in 1970. Considering how he looked over the course of the first three innings, that record seemed very reachable.
And then Will Venable homered to lead off the top of the fourth, ending the streak. Still, nine straight is nothing to shake a fist at. But losing the streak by allowing a Padres home run? That'll leave a mark.