Aaron Harang falls just short of history with nine consecutive strikeouts

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Aaron Harang led the National League in strikeouts way back in 2006 as a member of the Reds, but we certainly don’t think of him a strikeout-type anymore. Some blame Dusty Baker for killing his arm, but the 33-year-old right-hander has averaged just 6.6 K/9 over the past two seasons. Still, he came very close to becoming an unlikely part of history tonight.

After giving up a leadoff single to Cameron Maybin in the top of the first inning, Harang struck out the next nine batters he faced. To put into perspective how odd this is, Harang had gone 44 straight starts without striking out nine in a game. The veteran right-hander began the top of the fourth inning with a chance to tie Tom Seaver’s major league record (April 22, 1970) with 10 consecutive strikeouts, but Will Venable took him deep to break up the streak and end the shutout. So much for that.

While Harang’s unlikely run at MLB history fell short, he did top the franchise record for consecutive strikeouts, which was set when Johnny Podres struck out eight straight against the Phillies on July 2, 1962. Breaking Johnny Podres’ record against the Padres? Now that’s weird.

UPDATE: Harang tied his career-high with 13 strikeouts before exiting after 6 1/3 innings, having allowed four runs on four hits and two walks. The Dodgers won 9-8 on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Trevor Story homers off of Charlie Morton, All-Star Game tied at two after seven

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There was a whole lot of nothing happening in the All-Star Game after Willson Contreras‘ homer in the bottom of the third. We saw a lot of 98 m.p.h. pitches, a handful of walks and a near total lack of balls in play and/or defensive excitement for three and a half innings. In short: it was classic late 20-teens baseball. The most exciting thing that happened during that span was a trade that everyone knew was happening, even if they didn’t know when it would actually go down.

That changed in the bottom of the seventh when, with Charlie Morton of the Astros on the mound, Rockies shortstop Trevor Story socked one out to left field. There hasn’t been a lot of action tonight, but the action that has gone down has gone down in the left field stands.

It’s 2-2 as we head to the eighth inning.