Your mission, should you choose to accept it, blow a lead in the most heart-breaking fashion and spoil a strong offensive effort by the Angels. If you accept this mission, prepare to self-destruct in..
Justin Speier – 1 IP. 3 H, 1 ER
Scot Shields – 4 batters faced, no outs, 2 hits, 2 walks, 4 earned runs and a loss
Jose Arredondo – 1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 Blown Save
Rich Thompson – 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 HR allowed
Erick Aybar – 1 error, 2 dropped pop-ups, 1 ground out with the game on the line
That was certainly ugly. The Angels bullpen, and this time it was their good relievers, gagged away a perfectly winnable game for the Angels. With all the injuries and offensive struggles, a leaky bullpen is the last thing that the Angels can afford, but that is exactly what they have right now. Worse yet, there is little the team can do to turn things around other than crossing their fingers and wishing.
As I said earlier this week, they need to make some heads roll in the bully, to try and get some kind of effectiveness from the relievers. Releasing someone like Thompson or Bulger and signing the recently waived Luis Vizcaino really makes a lot of sense right now. Having such a lousy relief corps is just such a hard pill to swallow for Halo fans after being spoiled for so many years by a lock down bullpen. Maybe things will get back on track if Shields can solve whatever mechanical issues are plaguing him (or, dare I say it, arm problems?). Until then, it seems the Halos just have to hope for a complete game every night.
- A homer by someone other than Torii Hunter. Morales just snuck one over the right field wall to break the jinx.
- Continued great plate discipline from the Angel hitters. I don’t know how long this is going to last, but I like it and it getting results.
- Izturis hitting second instead of third, a much, MUCH more appropriate spot in the line-up for him. Scioscia must have lost a bet or something.
- Did Steve Physioc really call Joe Saunders “Saundo?” Really? I think Phys has been working with Rex Hudler for too long.
- Kendrick sits, but still no Wood. Why call him up if he isn’t going to play? He was on fire at Triple-A. Why not take advantage? Izturis, Matthews and Rivera all hit, so it worked out tonight, though one could certainly make a case for Wood pinch-hitting for Aybar at the end of the game.
Halo Hero of the Night:
- Kendry Morales
I almost had to give it to Ryan Raburn who made two brutal misplays in right field for Detroit. At a point you could tell the Angels were trying to hit it to him before Jim Leyland wisely replaced him. Morales, though, did enough to secure the honor for himself. His 5 RBIs were a career-high and he broke the non-Hunter homer jinx. The only blemish on his record was striking out looking with the bases loaded in the 6th. Let’s hope this is the start of him finding a groove and earning the starting gig that he was gifted in the off-season.