F-Bomb: Another Ninth-Inning Homer

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Good news, Ernesto! At least it wasn't a blown save.

Yeah, so, I'm not sure what to do with this one. The temptation is to channel some good old-fashioned SABERRAGE at the Moreno-Industrial Complex or the Michael L. Scioscia School of Bullpen Administration. That's usually my style. Numbers! Analysis! Let's make the world a better place with the same cold empirical reasoning that solved other notable problems like, say, the Vietnam War. And when I say "solved the problem," what I mean is, "created the problem in the first place."

You see, I get it this time. There isn't another team in the league this season that has given up more ninth-inning home runs than Ernesto Frieri has all by himself. No way he does it again tonight, right? Sooner or later the trend has to reverse, and he'll positively regress to the mean. It's not even a save situation, in case you're feeling superstitious. Hard reason and magical thinking can both agree on this one.

So if there's anything shocking about a two-out dish served up to Brian Roberts, it's how un-shocking it is. Your inner pessimist and optimist are fighting with each other, one of them goes, "no way that just happened, I'm so disappointed!" while the other one says, "whatever, you just asked to be let down." I suppose that nicely encapsulates how I feel about Angels baseball in general these days.

Of course, it isn't fair to pin the whole game on one pitch. The offense did not do a great job at scoring; they whiffed ten times without drawing a walk and only get credit for one earned run. Just look at that lineup and tell me you're still surprised. Make sure to count the number of names you would be totally pumped to see on any major-league roster. Go ahead, I'll wait.

But Mike Trout's two-out triple in the eighth was the sparkle, and then Albert Pujols drove him in on a full count to tie the game! That's why it feels like Frieri's fault: the tide had turned, the pendulum swung—yes, it was just a 3-3 tie, but hope for the too-afraid-of-hope-to-be-hopeful! CJ Wilson pitched eight strong, surely the ninth must bring victory and a happy memory for these tired eyes, eyes that have already seen too much late-inning horror for one season.

Then, F-Bomb. Good night.

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