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Jeff Mathis Allows 11 Earned Runs, Angels Catching in Disarray

The view from a Mathis
The view from a Mathis

Final Score in Anaheim: Angels 4, Twins 11


Jeff Mathis allowed 9 earned runs by the Twins, giving up five HRs in the game by calling for the wrong pitch at the wrong time. One of the homeruns was a grand slam. Manager Mike Scioscia had even tried to help Jeff's stats by changing pitchers, but when Hisanori Takahashi entered the game in relief, Jeff still called for a terrible pitch with the bases loaded and paid the price.

Late in the game, Scioscia tried to give Jeff a better batterymate in the person of the oft-traveled lefty reliever Horacio Ramirez. Boom - the night's fifth homer was hit - and in the wisdom of the Angels counterintuitive "Catching Defense Comes First", you cannot blame any of the three Angels pitchers who gave up the homeruns when the same catcher was the man calling for the pitches that were blasted out of the yard.

The confusing thing about the stat CERA (Catcher Earned Run Average) is how when Jeff Mathis catches a start by Joel Pineiro, he is suddenly not 1/10th the catcher he is with Jered Weaver or Dan Haren on the mound. How can an athlete be so great one day and allow one or zero earned runs and then allow nine in a game? The Angels' catching situation is obviously in peril, considering how improved it was when Scioscia saw to the dumping of useless catcher Mike Napoli, who hit a too-little too-late HR in Detroit tonight as the Rangers lost and invited the Angels over for a share of first place.

But with the Angels backstop problems taking precedence, the LA of Anaheim squad had to politely decline the offer from Arlington as they struggle to work out why Mighty Mathis is a complete incompetent in controlling the earned runs scored by the opposition when he is catching a lousy starting pitcher instead of a league leading All-Star. Baffled, the Angels will surely be looking for answers as the Texas Rangers struggle with the smothering weight of expectations from every generic-faced fratboy at ESPN who picked them to lose to Jeter or the Chowds in October.