When Jered Weaver or Dan Haren are on the mound, Angels catcher Jeff Mathis commands the game with the lowest Catcher's ERA in baseball, vindicating MIke Scioscia's inscrutable managerial ways away from the obvious. But when lesser arms like Tyler Chatwood are on the bump, Mathis suddenly allows the runs to score in bunches.
It is as if Jeff Mathis has no real affect on Angels pitching at all... and at the cost of his limp bat in the lineup of an already paltry offense. Mathis is now batting below .180 on the 2011 season. He brought nothing besides one Caught-Stealing in an already blowout of a game that repeated last night's scenario: A first-inning lead for the Arlington Horse Thieves, an early shower for a deer in the headlights rookie starter completely abandoned by Mathis, the allegedly great handler of pitchers now proven to be a worthless waste of contract and roster space.
The Angels could not put anything together offensively as their one threat when the game was imaginably within reach: Score 5-0 Rangers in the third inning, no outs, men on 2B and 3B and can Jeff Mathis simply ground out to drive in the run and move the second runner over to 3B? No, Mathis, the worst player in all of major league baseball, has a king-sized ego and hacked away in search of a hitting a six-run homer until he struck out in all the empty glory of a spilled beer on a sewer grate.
The Angels trail the Rangers by 6 games with 39 left to play in 2011. They have eight games remaining against Texas, and the sun will come out tomorrow, followed by a welcome Ervin Santana attempt at ending the club's four-game losing streak. Too little too late? Or gonna love what comes after the wait?