Sometimes the bubble bursts and other times it just deflates, eh Bobby?
Well... that was terrible.
There really is no way to put a spin on just how lousy Wednesday was for the Angels. In the morning, the team recalls Kevin Jepsen from AAA Salt Lake because an MRI has detected some damage in the shoulder of Francisco Rodriguez. Now, "Frankie Wolverine" is not the most important piece of the Angels puzzle but... he is a heck of a lot better pitcher than what Jepsen has amounted to recently. After a stellar second half of 2010, Jepsen has become the king of bad habits.
As Wednesday's game begins, word spreads that Kendrys Morales is out for the remainder of 2011. This is not the biggest surprise of the year, but most had assumed that the Cuban slugger would be back at some point soon. With Vernon Wells tweaking his groin on Monday, the Reagins two-prong preseason plan to upgrade the bullpen and have a Hunter-Morales-Wells slugging trio took a huge hit.
Then, later Wednesday night, that whole "bullpen plan" prong of our General Manger's was added to the trash heap of preseason plans. Reagins' Hisanori Takahashi signing as amounted to the acquisition of an overpriced lefthanded mop. Mike Scioscia's use of the bullpen meant that the prize of the 10/11 off-season, Scott Downs, was removed after getting one out in the seventh inning. The statistically best reliever in the Angels bullpen is Rich Thompson; he replaced Downs and threw one pitch to get one out. Fresh enough? No. Mike Scioscia brought in the prize of the 09/10 offseason, Fernando Rodney, and the drain on a 4-1 Angels lead began. Rodney gave up a run in the 8th. Jordan Walden blew a save and got out of the 9th inning with a tie ballgame. Scioscia had replaced Rodney as closer with Walden early in the year. Much earlier than many anticipated. But even as an 8th inning man, Fe-Rod has been found wanting. With two good bullpen arms and a still-learning Walden, the masterpiece that was Reagins' off-season was left completely shredded.
And to top it all off, the man who had re-entered the major leagues this morning came on and had as disastrous a two-run tenth inning as can be imagined. Kevin Jepsen yielded a run when he threw an intentional walk first pitch ball that had more in common with a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar SkyHook shot than it did with any pitched ball in the history of the sport of baseball. If Jepsen's goal as a player is to be a postmodern reconfiguration of the Doubleday-Naismith legacy, he made history. If he is trying to help his team win games it is advised that he join Wells and Morales at the links as soon as possible and take Fe-Rod with him.
All in all just one day in the history of the franchise but perhaps the worst one of the season ... where has your confidence in this team gone since sunrise on Wednesday?