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Angels Fail to Heed ELO's Admonition; Let Bruce Bring Them Down, 4-2

As Bruce Chen -- seriously, Bruce Chen -- walked off the mound in the middle of the 8th inning, a frame he hasn't tasted in any game he's started since April 13, 2006, Victor Rojas put it both best and worst: "Perhaps he has figured things out now with his 10th major league club."

The hell he has. What Bruce Chen figured out is the same thing countless pieces of left-handed pus-balling meat have been realizing during Mike Scioscia's otherwise dominant reign: You can beat the 21st century Angels by throwing sub-Moyeresqe portsidery slop, especially when the offense is in full swoon.

Chen, an arm so pointless he was schlepped from the Braves to the Phillies to the Mets to the Expos to the Reds to the Astros to the Red Sox to the Blue Jays to the Orioles in less than FOUR CALENDAR YEARS, was, inexcusably, perfect through 6 innings, though he did have some help in the form of two great David DeJesus (of Montreal) catches in CF. Erick Aybar finally recognized that 85-mph pitches aren't "fastballs" in the 7th, but after Bobby Abreu somehow swung and missed at a third strike, Mike Napoli popped up to end the 0-0 threat.

Ervin Santana was great, but confused Billy Butler for Bilibur Stargell or something, walking him twice and hitting him twice more, including to load the bases in the top of the 8th, setting up a revenge-minded Jose Guillen for a two-run single to left-center that sure did stay up in the air for a while. A Jeff Mathis homer in the bottom of the inning chased Chen and provided a brief impersonation of offensive respectability, but some lousy relief pitching and unclutch-enough hitting by our non-Vlad DH in an exciting 9th sealed our fate at 4.5 back.

Relive the shame in the Game Thread, or just get started on Independence Day, already!