The frustration of surrendering three home runs in less than three innings must be great. But veterans like Hector Santiago aren’t supposed to let that kind of thing get to their heads, especially not to an extent that gets them ejected and saddles the already taxed Angels bullpen with six-plus innings of work.
There’s no doubt that the home-plate umpire was too quick with his hook Friday, but Santiago never should have been arguing balls and strikes in the first place. None of the three catalyzing pitches he threw to Matt Wieters were strikes, and he’d done nothing in the first two innings to warrant a strike call on a close pitch—he’d already walked three guys, mostly on pitches well out of the zone.
The bullpen held its own for a while in extra duty, but it eventually gave way to the O’s powerful offense. There’s no guarantee Santiago would have done any better had he stayed in, but he could (and should) have at least saved the ‘pen from another long day’s work.
Run Expectancy Rundown
The bottom of the order did all the clutch hitting on Friday, as Carlos Perez, Johnny Giavotella, and Gregorio Petit drove in the four Angels runs. Giavotella’s hitting streak is now up to nine games. Albert Pujols also extended his hit streak (to four) and walked multiple times for the second time in three games. Don’t look now but Albert’s OBP is up to an almost-league-average .313.
The O’s wasted no time getting the dinger train rolling, with Joey Rickard and Manny Machado leading off the game with back-to-back jacks. Mark Trumbo added a two-run shot in the third just before Santiago’s ejection, then Chris Davis helped put the game away with a two-run blast of his own in the seventh. Only Adam Jones went without a hit for Baltimore, and even he walked once.
Starting Pitcher Scores
As noted above, Santiago was less than stellar and then compounded the issue by getting himself tossed. Mike Wright fared a bit better, but unraveled in the fifth and let the Angels tie things up.
Mike Morin and Cam Bedrosian were great in relief of Santiago, throwing 3⅓ of scoreless baseball. On any normal night that’s probably enough to seal a win or at least take the game to extras. Unfortunately for the Angels on Friday, there were still three more innings to go so Jose Alvarez had time to surrender a dinger to Chris Davis and A.J. Achter had time to allow three runs and put the game out of reach.
The Angels did a good job of clawing back to even, but things fell apart from there.
Some ball/strike arguments are warranted. This one was not.