I just wrote the best postgame wrap-up in the history of organized sports. But it's all gone now. Wasted. I deleted it in half a second, which is actually twice as long as it took the Angels to blow this game up in the bottom of the ninth.
If you look up Ernesto Frieri on any baseball site, you will see that he is pretty much the flyball-ingest pitcher ever. Flyballs can go over the fence. If a ball goes over the fence between the two yellow poles, or even if it hits one of said yellow poles--and especially if it does both, two times in a row, within, like, 10 freaking seconds--YOU LOSE. This game went from a welcome snoozefest to a ballbusting walk-off stunner in less time than it took Mike Scioscia to wobble out of the dugout, point his puffy right arm at the bullpen and say, "nope, I'd rather bring in the guy who has no control, gives up a ton of flyballs, and threw 30 pitches last night close this out."
So let the record show that Zack Greinke, after having pitched 8 1/3 innings of shutout baseball with a reasonable number of pitches thrown, relinquished the baseball so that his manager could feel like a part of the game. You know, like tactics, and stuff. Master and supreme commander. Then bang, Billy Butler homers. Bang, dude-you've-never-heard-of-because-he-plays-for-the-freaking-Royals homers. Desperately needed 2-0 win is now a punishing 3-2 loss. Mike Scioscia's secret plans to spend his October leaf-peeping in Vermont are still intact.
We can debate the philosophy of causality, the responsibility of the players, and the impact of the manager, but you know what? I don't care right now, and neither do you. All I can think to say is what I said a few days ago. Since last September, this team has added the best player in baseball, the former best player in baseball, the best pitcher available via free agency, and the best pitcher available via trade. They even replaced a catcher who hit .174 for a catcher with a .768 OPS. Yet with 16 games left to play, the Angels actually have a worse record than they did at the same point last year, when Vernon Wells was still batting 4th every day.
There is nothing to do except fire the manager.