After two great previous outings, Matt Shoemaker had become a real “feel good” story. An undrafted talent that turned himself into a legitimate big league pitcher who looked like he might actually stick around for awhile and be productive.
Then he had to go and get slammed by the Royals. Sure, every pitcher has bad days, but Shoemaker doesn’t have that luxury. There is a pre-existing bias against him because of his lack of prospect profile. When he succeeds, it is a pleasant surprise. When he fails, it is expected, so he gets no leeway. Call it confirmation bias if you want, but that’s how it works. Now he has to hope that this one awful start won’t be his undoing. Tyler Skaggs is coming back next week and someone has to go. Having your last appearance be this bad is not the final impression you want to leave before a big decision like that.
Run Expectancy Rundown
C.J. Cron and Mike Trout both did a lot of damage in this one, especially Trout with that mammoth homer. The problem is that Howie Kendrick and Albert Pujols both really failed to come through in the bigger moments. Sure, Albert had a sac fly, but we all, himself included, expect him to do so much more with the bases loaded.
As we know all too well, the real killer in the game was Omar Infante‘s grand slam. It was especially brutal because of the noted lack of power that the Royals lineup possesses. For them to be the offense that has a huge hit with the bases loaded, but not the Angels goes against both team’s offensive profiles. Baseball, man, what are you gonna do?
Starting Pitcher Scores
I think this might be the first single-digit game score for an Angels pitcher this year. The crazy thing is that Shoemaker was solid the first two innings but the wheels just came flying off in the third. At least he had the decency to pitch a fourth inning to spare the bullpen a little bit. Jason Vargas really wasn’t all that much better, which is the real shame of the whole thing.
David Carpenter earned himself a modicum of respect for eating three innings so effectively. The real story of this game though should be the Royals bullpen pitching five innings and allowing one walk and zero hits.
By the end of that third inning, the Angels had just a 3% chance at winning. In a way, it is kind of impressive that they pushed it back to 30% for a brief moment, but at the same time, I actually kind of expected them to pull of the comeback. So, in a roundabout way, it still ended up being disappointing. Just a different kind of disappointing.
It was a nice story while it lasted, Shoe.