I blame myself. In the series preview, I focused solely on Zack Greinke being the former Angel hurler that was certain to haunt the Halos in this series and went out of my way to deride Dan Haren. Welp. That didn’t work out.
The Angels beat Greinke only to have Dan Haren completely shut them down. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Even Vin Scully kept repeating on the Dodgers broadcast how unbelievable Haren’s performance was considering that there were rumblings that Haren might be DFA’d as recently as last week. It happened anyway and the Angels couldn’t get to the Dodgers bullpen in enough time to complete the comeback, though they sure came close.
Run Expectancy Rundown
When you almost get a perfect game thrown against you, this is what your RE24 chart looks like. C.J. Cron pinch-hit and easily was the best offensive performer. Hank Conger had a decent game and would’ve been a much bigger hero had he not gotten thrown out at third by Puig, though it is hard to blame him since that was just such a perfect throw. Mike Trout wore the horns for the offense with his biggest failure being the inability to move Calhoun over to third. Actually, I think the Angels missed an opportunity with Calhoun on first to have Trout bunt. Not as a sacrifice, but bunt for a hit. The Dodgers never would’ve seen it coming.
It was a real part for the part-time players on the Dodgers. Matt Kemp had his solo shot too, but Crawford, Ethier and Turner were the ones with multi-hit games.
Starting Pitcher Scores
Matt Shoemaker really just had the one bad inning and did well to recover from it. Dan Haren just generally did well despite the expectations to the contrary. If it makes Shoe feel any better, he has a much better beard than Danny.
The Angel relievers did well to keep the game close and you could tell how badly Scioscia wanted this comeback by having Street come in to pitch the top of the ninth. The Dodgers bullpen barely held on as the Halos failed to take advantage of the fact that Brandon League is apparently still alive and gainfully employed.
In a twist, it was the Angels falling behind early and not really mounting any real threat until late in the game. They got as close as 42% win expectancy after Calhoun’s steal, but once they failed to move him to third, their odds dropped precipitously.
There is plenty of blame to go around, but not getting Calhoun over to third was a big miss for the world’s best ballplayer.