Bill James lauds Dan Haren outing

Writing for Grantland, baseball's godfather of statistics, Bill James, ranks the 100 greatest pitchers' duels of 2011. At the very top is Dan Haren's two-hit mastery of the Detroit Tigers on July 5, a game in which he (very slightly) out-pitched eventual Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.

Here is what James says about that memorable game:

"In the first inning Bobby Abreu was called out on strikes, argued with the call, and was thrown out of the game by home plate umpire Angel Campos. With one out in the second, Howie Kendrick grounded to short and beat the throw to first — or not, but anyway, he was called safe by first base umpire Joe West. Well, OK, he was out; West blew the call. You beat it out of me. Tiger manager Jim Leyland came out to dispute the call, but, of course, to no avail. Erick Aybar then doubled to right field, scoring Kendrick and giving the Angels what was to be the game's only run. Cowboy Joe later threw Leyland out of the game for continuing to squawk about the call on Kendrick, and, when Verlander was relieved with one out in the bottom of the eighth, he screamed at West and Verlander also was ejected, although he was already out of the game. Haren pitched a two-hit shutout, striking out nine and walking no one. Verlander struck out eight. Angels 1, Detroit 0."