The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stranded a collective TWENTY men on base Thursday night as they lose tot he Oakland A's 3-4 and drop 3 of 4 in this early series. The Angles now sit a full 7 games back of the Texas Rangers, a team that does not look capable of losing 4 or 5 straight once, much less two or three times this season. This is a hole that will take weeks and months to dig back out of.
Albert Pujols started to warm up for 2012 by going 3 for 4 with 3 doubles, but was no match for the onslaught of frustration brought about by his own teammates. On defense, the Halos committed as many errors (3) as the A's had hits all game. The most egregious mistake was CJ Wilson doing himself in by ignoring the easy force out on the lead runner (Yoenis Cespedes) at third base, instead listening to the advice of Chris Iannetta and soft tossing a wild throw to first base. With Torii Hunter nowhere to be found, the ball rolled out into the foul territory up the first base line and allowed two runners to score.
The Halos spent the entire evening generating a massive amount of noise. Ten hits and three walks, with an RBI double by Vernon Wells followed by an RBI double by Mark Trumbo, bringing in 2 runs in the 4th. But, beyond that, all that noise amounted to goose eggs in the other 8 frames. It all adds up to FAIL. Fittingly, the effort ended with Torii Hunter swinging on the first pitch he sees in the 9th, while representing the tying run, and grounds into one more of his trademark double plays to end the game.
Fortunately, it's just one game. The guys are battling. Guys are getting close, grinding through it. This one is now behind us.