This is why we can’t have nice things. The Angels should be coming off a very nice road sweep of a legit contender. They should be riding high, over .500 for the first time since Opening Day of 2013. They should be feeling good about themselves.
But no. This bullpen. This god damned bullpen. Every single time the Halos could possibly get going on a roll, this awful, terrible, no-good bullpen has to mess it up. It is time for a real, legit shake-up. No more of this deckchair shuffling with veteran retreads and Quad-A arms.
Run Expectancy Rundown
Just like they drew it up, Albert Pujols and Mike Trout did much of the work for the lineup. There was also the added bonus of David Freese actually doing positive things! Scioscia took a leap of faith by having Erick Aybar and Chris Iannetta bat fifth and sixth, respectively, but it did more harm than good, even with Aybar picking up two hits and an RBI.
Werth, LaRoche and Espinosa were the killers in this one. That RBI single from Gio Gonzalez was pretty painful as well. Still, when you shut down two-thirds of the lineup and still can’t win, you have to feel pretty lousy.
Starting Pitcher Scores
Neither pitcher went deep into the game due to pinch-hitting opportunities (thanks, National League!) even though they were both pitching decently. Jered Weaver didn’t miss many bats, but he also only issued one walk without giving up an extra-base hit. Suffice it to say, this was an encouraging start.
Neither bullpen was good, collectively, but the Angels quite obviously would’ve been fine had Ernesto Frieri not melted down in such epic fashion. This should’ve been an easy win for the Angels and one where they finally started feeling comfortable with their bullpen setup as Michael Kohn has emerged as a solid 7th inning guy. But no, Frieri had to just pour gasoline all over everything. It is so depressing I don’t even have the strength to get worked up over Scioscia bringing in Fernando Salas to face LaRoche instead of bringing in Nick Maronde.
This might be the most depressing WE chart of the year. The Angels were actually down for a bit in this game and quickly climbed up to almost certain victory. Even after the Lobaton homer, they were still at 96%. Then Span singled and it was 90%. OK, fine. Then the Rendon walk took it to 82%. Still, looking solid. Then Werth ripped a double by Freese who was curiously not hugging the line and down we went to 31%. Ugh. One pitch later from Salas and GAME OVER!
Just go away, Ernesto.