If the Angels want to overtake the Rangers in the AL West, they are going to have to earn it. Thanks to their poor fielding tonight, that is exactly what they are NOT doing.
This goes without saying, but spotting a pitcher like Felix Hernandez two unearned runs on four errors just isn’t going to work out well for any team, even if Felix is backed by one of the worst lineups in baseball.
I’m not going to say that this game is going to cost the Angels the division, although the did lose a game on Texas with the loss, since when I projected the rest of the season a few weeks ago that this would be a loss. However, losing the game in this fashion is really going to hurt because it would have been winnable had they just executed properly on defense. Giving away winnable games is what will really do them in as they head down the homestretch of the season. 3.5 games doesn’t seem like a huge margin, but with so few games to close the gap in, they have to capitalize on every chance they get to win games that they probably shouldn’t win. They just can’t count on Texas self-destructing. If they want the division, the Angels are going to have to win it themselves.
- I don’t know if King Felix just had the Angels off-balance, but it seemed to me that he was leaving A LOT of breaking balls up in the zone and the Halos just kept taking the pitches. The break on the pitches was good for most of them, so they weren’t really hangers, but there were a lot of belt-high curveballs being taken for called strikes tonight and I don’t think that is a good thing.
- Hank Conger is the Asian version of Rube Baker. You can almost see him thinking before he throws down to second because he has gone so mental about his throwing. Sure enough, that thinking is only screwing him up more and he bounced his lone throw into center. He has a lot of work to do if he is even going to be in Scioscia’s plans for next season.
- How bad is the Angels’ bullpen depth? Rookie Garrett Richards, scrub Horacio Ramirez and quadruple-A pitcher Trevor Bell all got into the game tonight despite it being a one-run game. I actually like Richards’ potential as a reliever down the stretch, but giving him his first relief appearance in such an important game was pretty scary to see. I guess we should be glad that they all escaped unscathed and that Scioscia resisted the urge to use Fraudney, but if he thinks he is going to get away with using those three in high leverage situations on a routine basis, Sosh might as well just hand the division to Texas.
Callaspo had a costly error too, but at least he made up for it with an RBI single. That leaves Aybar holding the bag as tonight’s Halo A-Hole.