One could look at tonight’s first game back from the break and presume that the Angels were a bit rusty, but I prefer to think that this perfectly winnable game went tragically awry due to the evil power that is Friday the 13th.
I mean, just look at everything that went wrong:
- Alberto Callaspo botched a hit-and-run to spoil an early opportunity in the first. But the weird part was he swung and the umpire still called it a ball… Friday the 13th!
- Mark Teixeira tortured the Halos and even came up big with the game on the line. Ask any Yankees fan and they will tell you that Tex and clutch hits are not something that are often associated with each other… Friday the 13th!
- Nick Swisher robbed the Angels of a at least one run with his Chris Berman catch (as in he was stumblin’ and bumblin’) against the wall on Trumbo… Friday the 13th!
- Scott Downs completely crapped the bed for the first time in forever… Friday the 13th!
- Mike Scioscia lost his mind and brought in Kevin Jepsen in the eighth inning of a tie game with runners on base… Friday the 13th!!!!!!!!!
- Howie Kendrick got thrown out trying to take second on a wild pitch all because Russell Martin was somehow able to drop his mask and barehand the ball as it bounced away and then turn and gun Kendrick out all in one swooping motion… FRIDAY THE FREAKING 13TH!
The Angels are now 12-32 all-time on Friday the 13th. Enough said.
- I cannot even begin to get my head around what Mike Scioscia was thinking bringing Kevin Jepsen into the game with a runner in scoring position in a tie game in the eighth inning. Jepsen had pitched well after coming up last week, but given that the entire bullpen is completely rested, there is no logical reason for Jepsen to get the call there ahead of Frieri, Hawkins, Isringhausen or even Walden. For some reason Sosh is obsessed with using Jepsen whenever he is up. I’m not kidding when I say this, but Dipoto needs to demote Jepsen if only to save Scioscia from himself.
- Mark Trumbo = Yankees killer. The Trumbomber has homered in five consecutive games against the Bronx Bombers.
- It didn’t come into play thanks to the Kendrick-Martin play, but it needs to be discussed. The fact that Mark Trumbo is the Angels second-best hitter but gets pulled from all close games in which the Angels lead in favor of the defense of Peter Bourjos is going to be a problem. Had anyone other than Jepsen been brought in to preserve the tie in the eighth, the Halos could have found themselves in the tenth inning with Speedy Petey batting in a key situation instead of Trumbo. I guess that kind of thing is only going to happen once maybe twice in a season, so it is an acceptable risk, but when it does happen, I reserve the right to be severely annoyed.
It doesn’t happen often, but Downs just plain blew it. I can’t be mad at him though considering that he came into the game having allowed just one earned run all season long and hadn’t allowed a homer in almost a year. $#!% happens.