When Joel Pineiro cannot throw his sinker, his pitching produces a stinker like this one. Practically the polar opposite of his masterful Complete Game shutout last Sunday afternoon, the Angels righty only lasted 3 innings, allowed 9 runs and was humiliated by his former teammates.
The difference for Pineiro Friday night in the muggy midwest was that his sinkerball was not getting down and Cardinals batters were able to sit on what amounted to fat low fastballs, blasting out 9 hits in the 21 Plate Appearances they had against Pineiro.
Cardinals starter Brad Penny hit a first pitch fastball for a grand slam with 2 outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning to break open a 4-4 tie... and while the Angels bats showed up early, they could not pile on that many runs in the 6 remaining innings.
Torii Hunter had 2 hits to stay hot and Mike Napoli hit a 2-Run HR and a double, but the flash flood of runs produced early had to have been demoralizing.
Checking the standings: The Angels are right where they were in the AL West before play began a week ago: 5.5 games behind Texas. Sadly, they got to within 2.5 games of first place in the division earlier this week but could not make anything of it.