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Juan Rivera Revenge Sees Angels Fall Late to Dodgers

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Final Score in Elysian Park: Angels 2, Dodgers 5


With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 8th and his team rallying, ex-Angel Juan Rivera hit a three-run homerun for a giant serving of revenge on the team that abandoned him. Earlier in the game the Angels had scored two runs both on terrible fielding plays involving former Angels great Adam Kennedy. This could have easily been a 1-0 Angels loss and the anti-Scioscia crowd might have been grumbling about something other than bullpen management, but Sciosica gave the haters plenty of fresh meat with a questionable commitment to let Jerome Williams see this one through.

While the Dodgers celebrated taking a lead on the Angels like they had won the World Series, to hear Angels fans re-imagine reality you would swear the team had not won a game all season.

With Williams pitching a gem and under a hundred pitches into the eighth inning, Mike Scioscia stuck with the hot arm. Earlier in the day the Angels recalled reliever David Pauley. It is apparent to everyone many close followers of the team, save the reflexive Scioscia haters, that Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri are gassed and when you have a low pitch-count dazzler being played out in a pitchers park, there is no reason to alter the rhythm of the game.

It didn't work out. But it was Mike Trout striking out with the bases loaded in this game that might actually be a determining factor, not Mike Scioscia juggling the coming season's worth of gassed bullpen personalities.

When it works out people praise the manager "He had such confidence in Williams that he didn't even have a guy warming up behind him." And then a lot of talk about psychological boosts and various theories of chemistry.

Mark Trumbo left two runners in scoring position with two outs stranded. Trout did too. Williams pitched a great game until he had to be razor-thin-margin perfect, something every Angels starter has had to skate through this season, to varying degrees of success. And failure. And that was the story again tonight: two gift runs and 7 great innings-pitched are not going to get it done no matter who is managing.

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