Woof. The Angels played about as sloppy a game as is possible at the big-league level on Wednesday. The team blew two leads, committed two errors, made at least one bone-headed throw, and failed to have even one of their five pitchers survive the day without giving up a run. In the end, they lost by their third-largest margin of the year despite plating nine runs themselves.
The blame for this one starts with Hector Santiago, who couldn’t make it through the third inning for the second straight start, but didn’t have early ejection to blame this time. His velocity dipped yet again, leading to zero swings-and-misses and lots of absurdly solid contact with a fastball that got him 10 whiffs and no hard contact just a week ago in Seattle.
From there, the bullpen simply failed to stop the bleeding (and got no help from the defense). Best to just turn the page on this one and pretend it never happened.
Run Expectancy Rundown
Rafael Ortega had probably the best day of his brief MLB career, blasting his first big-league home run and tallying a career-best three RBI. He also threw a player out at the plate, giving him five outfield assists in just 21 starts. Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Gregorio Petit were the only Angels starters without multi-hit games. If the former two had managed even one hit, maybe this game ends differently.
Just one guy in the negative, and even he’s barely so. That’s a pretty good day on offense. Of note: Bobby Wilson went 4-for-4 and is now hitting .305/.344/.424 on the year. Why do we ever try to predict baseball?
Starting Pitcher Scores
I think you’d be hard-pressed at this point to find a more volatile MLB starter than Hector Santiago. There is seemingly no middle ground for Hector anymore. Seven of his 10 starts this season have had a Game Score of greater than 80 or less than 40. And lately it’s been far more bad than good. Someone get him the memo that the Angels rotation is back to doing quality starts now.
Colby Lewis was lucky to allow only six runs in his five innings on Wednesday. There was a bunch of hard contact that went straight into gloves and at least three meatballs that missed being home runs by a fraction of an inch.
Remember that time a few weeks ago when the Angels bullpen had the best ERA in the American League? Man, does that feel like fever dream now. Deolis Guerra was the only Halos pitcher to muster a 1-2-3 inning on Wednesday—he had two!—but he eventually stayed in a little too long. Greg Mahle was bad from the get-go but also got the hook way too late, throwing a career-high 46 pitches. His previous high was 28. The only guys left in the ‘pen with ERAs under 4.00 are Fernando Salas and Cam Bedrosian, neither of whom pitched on Wednesday.
Considering how out of hand it got at the end, it’s hard to believe the Angels had a 50/50 shot at winning this game going into the sixth inning.
Since the 2015 All-Star break, Santiago owns a 5.09 ERA in 127.1 IP. And that omits eight unearned runs.