Six walks, no hits, no errors, three runs and a victory. This is the kind of thing you seldom expect to see. If you do see it in an Angels game, you almost certainly expect to see their bullpen as the offending party. No, this time they were the recipients of the bullpen buffoonery, which is good because they certainly weren’t getting anywhere trying to actually hit the ball with runners in scoring position.
Run Expectancy Rundown
Just to prove that you can do a lot in a little bit of time, John McDonald ends up being third in RE24 lead all because he got to pinch-hit against a reliever that couldn’t throw a strike. Howie Kendrick did the same thing, but had a few other at-bats involved. It was not a good night for the kids though, especially C.J. Cron who is unfortunately starting to prove me right in that he is far to willing to swing at anything in the general vicinity of the zone and gets himself out.
Mark Teixeira once again was trouble for the Angels. Ichiro was trouble as well, but only because Ian Stewart paid no attention to the possibility of Ichiro bunting in an obvious bunt situation. Stewart was even playing in, but reacted with the same surprise as someone who found out that Kevin Spacey was really Kaizer Soze in Usual Suspects. I am also legally obligated to mention Derek Jeter, who had two hits, but ended up deep in the negative thanks to that wonderfully timely GIDP with the bases loaded in the eighth.
Starting Pitcher Scores
Jered Weaver was the best he has been all season. Gubicza mentioned all night that the success came from his improved confidence in the fastball, but to me it looked more like he was actually getting his changeup to work a lot better than it had been. Then again, I’m not pitcher. Either way, he was great and it gives real hope that he could continue to be great. On the other side of the ledger, David Phelps was effective but got yanked early as Girardi tried to avoid a bad situation (hint, hint Scioscia).
Wonder of wonders! Ernesto Frieri is back at closer… maybe. It seemed odd at the time because Smith had been all warmed up, but apparently he got a sudden case of food poisoning and was too busy yakking to close out the game, so Frieri got the nod and acquitted himself nicely. This might end up being the very first case of a closer losing his gig due to eating too many bad street tacos on Cinco de Mayo. As for the Yankees, they obviously had some problems, especially Shawn Kelley. Girardi can argue all he wants about Laz Diaz’s zone, but the borderline calls that he and Kelley argued the most were strikes, at least according to the Pitch f/x map shown my Fox Sports West. So take that for what it is worth.
The Angels wobbled slowly out to an edge in the first half of the game, but then they nearly fell into the abyss during that tense eighth inning before JEETS bailed them out. Thanks, Cap’n! Even when the bases were loaded in the ninth, the win expectancy was only 63% though. It wasn’t until Kelley actually walked in the run that the Halos jumped into “game over” status.
I remember this Jered Weaver. Haven’t seen him in awhile. I hope he sticks around.