After two games of returning to their Red LOBster ways, the Angels were shockingly proficient in the clutch with runners in scoring position. That resulted in them pulling out a late win. Who knew?!?!
Run Expectancy Rundown
Raul Ibanez took home the big prize tonight, but Mike Trout and Erick Aybar were big helps as well. Nobody was particularly bad, but poor David Freese actually had a multi-hit game and ended at 0.0 RE24, probably because he also had a multi-strikeout game. Speaking of strikeouts, Ian Stewart picked up another K, putting his K-rate on the season at a staggering 41.5%. One can’t help but wonder how much longer Scioscia is going to keep running him out there.
Carlos Santana is the only Indian who did any real damage. Nick Swisher ended on the positive side of the ledger, but that is only because fielding is not taken into account and Swisher functionally cost Cleveland the game with his error in the eighth. Meanwhile, I am still trying to figure out how it was Asdrubal Cabrera was ever considered an All-Star talent.
Starting Pitcher Scores
I joked in the preview for this series that Terry Francona would outmanage Mike Scioscia in this series. Oops! Justin Masterson had a pretty good start going through seven, but then Tito decided it would be a good idea to let him go through the lineup for a fourth time. That’s NEVER a good idea. Francona paid the price. As for Tyler Skaggs, he was strong once again. He got to breach the 100-pitch mark for the first time and really just made one bad pitch in an otherwise excellent outing.
After Mike Trout’s Bourn-aided triple allowed him to score on a fielder’s choice, the Halos held a slight advantage, but that was all washed away after the Santana homer. The Angels bottomed out at 23% win expectancy, but quickly rebounded to 55% after Aybar’s RBI double. Once Raul Ibanez cleared the bases with his triple, it was all over but for the crying.
I almost went with Skaggs, but Ibanez gets the nod for turning back the clock to leg out a triple, a triple that made in unlikely that even the Bullpen of Perpetual Sorrow could blow the game. He even played the field without turning it into a circus, so let’s give the old man a little love.