Game Recap 5/21/11 — Yet another late night — Angels 4 Braves 5

I know it comes as a shock but the Angels played yet another extra inning game. That makes 11 this season, tops in the majors. There is plenty of blame to share for this defeat but I am going to place the bulk of it at the feet of Manager Mike. Scioscia should have seen this coming and pulled Pineiro after six innings. Joel was okay but by no means dominant. I know it’s hard to trust the collection of stiffs that make up the bullpen, but I think it would have been better to give them a four run cushion to blow rather have what happened last night happen. After the disaster of a seventh inning, the Angel offense returned to form for the rest of the game and the Braves were able to steal themselves a victory. Glad I stayed up late for that…

Angels 4 Braves 5

When a pitcher doesn’t have a clean inning for the entire game but manages to keep the opposition off the board, the manager has to realize his team is living dangerously. Pineiro gave up 11 hits (8 in the first six, before the Braves finally tagged him in the seventh), and was in no way dominant. Scioscia opted to leave Joel in rather than turn it over to Fraudney to try to get the Angels a win, which is normally a good idea. But in this case, the move backfired. Personally, I would have gone with Rich Thompson for the seventh, then Downs for the eighth and Walden to close. But apparently one bad outing has thrown Chopper back down in the pecking order. As far as the actual tying run, that goes to Takahashi and his inability to get one out, but that should come as no surprise at this point.

Game Notes
– I am starting to worry about Hank Conger. Rookies are by definition a bit streaky but Hank is looking worse each day in the box. Another 0-5 outing makes him hitless this series. Hank appears to be trying to hit the ball out on every swing and I can’t remember the last time he went the other way with a pitch. If Hank continues to struggle it may mean more time for Jeff Mathis, and none of us want to see that. So come on Hank, get it together for pete’s sake!!
– I really can’t blame the bullpen for this loss. All in all they pitched well enough for the Angels to win. Jordan Walden was shaky but got through his inning, Downs continues to be reliable and even Kevin Jepsen looked decent. I am choosing to not place any real blame on poor Trevor Bell, who has got to be sick of being the last guy left in the bully on a weekly basis.
– The Kiddie Corps went 0 for 17 in the game. This is what happens when you rely on a pack of rooks. In top of that Amarista was a disaster in the field and his error led to the eventual winning run. I think Alexi all the pinballing around the field finally caught up to him last night. I never though I’d say this but I think it my be time to give Reggie Willits some extended playing time and put Izturis at second. The kids need some time off.

Halo A-Hole

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One out? Couldn’t get one out could you Hisanori? Your only job is to get lefties out and if you can’t do that then what good are you? Hey, at least we aren’t overpaying for you.                    

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