When your new Hall of Fame hitting coach breaks his leg catching the first pitch on Opening Day, that’s a good omen, right?
Anyway, on to the Boxscore Breakdown
Run Creation Contest
As we should expect to see a lot this season, Mike Trout was great, everyone else, not so much. In particular it was a pretty bad night for the Angels’ new acquisitions. It is pretty hard to score a lot of runs when your #5 through #8 hitters contribute absolutely nothing. This also seems like a good time to point out that RE24 doesn’t include defense, thus explaining why Josh Hamilton comes in second here.
Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak leading the Mariners offense, just like Jack Z. planned it… for 2012. Whatever, those two killed the Angels who otherwise did a fine job of keeping Robinson Cano from beating them single-handedly.
Starting Pitcher Showdown
We actually did have a bit of a duel on our hands, at least early on. Felix mowed the Angels down with the sole exception of Mike Trout’s two-run blast. Weaver held up pretty nicely too until he ran out of gas in the sixth and then was coasting on fumes when Scioscia brought him back out for the seventh for some reason.
Oh, right! Maybe it is because the bullpen still stinks. Fernando Salas coming in to save the day inspired absolutely zero confidence and that lack of confidence was fully justified. Michael Kohn had a nice outing and probably should’ve gotten the call instead of Salas since Kohn can strike guys out. Then there’s Jepsen. I mean, what is there left to say about how bad he is and how much he shouldn’t have a big league job?
And the Mariner bullpen wins. Really, Tom Wilhelmsen won. He turned back the Angels in the bottom of the seventh as they were on the verge of re-tying the game and that was that.
Things were going so well until that triple and suddenly… CLIFF! So, yeah, it would’ve been nice had Josh Hamilton made that play. They at least still had a chance after that right up until that second cliff known as Kevin Jepsen trying to pitch to Justin Smoak unsuccessfully. Game over, man, game over!
You could blame Salas if you wanted for not bailing out Weaver, but that was an impossible situation. The real shame here should be directed at Kevin Jepsen who removed any chance of a Halo comeback by being just the worst.