So, in the series preview I said there was no way that Matt Shoemaker would beat Cliff Lee. What I didn’t count on was Shoemaker pitcher pretty decently and Cody Asche throwing the ball everywhere in the stadium except for the target that he was actually throwing at. I’m not one to complain about being wrong though. Whatever works, right?
Run Expectancy Rundown
Mike Trout delighted the Millville contingent by collecting a base hit, but that was all there was. The real damage came from Collin Cowgill (Cliff Lee-killer?) and one big hit from Luis Jimenez. Lucho Lee-bre, am I right?
Chase Utley took advantage of an error and a seemingly blown call to drive in and score a run. Domonic Brown nearly made Scioscia look bad for going with Fernando Salas in the seventh inning. Fortunately, Jimmy Rollins and Marlon Byrd both had pretty rough nights and prevented the Phillies offense from ever getting rolling.
Starting Pitcher Scores
Matt Shoemaker pitched pretty well and only threw 57 pitches, but Scioscia decided not to press his luck and yanked him after five innings. That’s a bold decision, but I support it. Cliff Lee, as per usual, was a hard luck loser.
Fernando Salas was shaky in his inning, but the rest of the bullpen performed well. Most importantly, we saw Scioscia continue to employ the forward-thinking idea of having Joe Smith face the toughest part of the lineup, regardless of whether or not it was the eighth or ninth inning. This pleases me greatly.
Even though it was just 2-0, that Utley triple put the Halos in a deep hole. They bottomed out at 15% in the fifth after Shoemaker gave up a leadoff walk. Then Cody Asche happened the very next inning and flipped the win expectancy upside down. The shaky Salas outing put a small dent in their odds, but never really was a major threat to give the Phillies an edge.
He wasn’t dominant, but he gave the Angels a good start and a chance to beat Cliff Lee. What else can you ask for?