C.J. Wilson had been cruising as of late, but got into trouble in the second inning of this game, giving up four runs on a succession of hits from the Blue Jays. The first couple innings were vintage C.J., with the pitcher nibbling around the plate as we’ve grown so accustomed to seeing, and his pitch count almost immediately skyrocketing. However, Mike Scioscia stuck with Wilson and after the early meltdown, he settled down enough to warrant a few more innings on the mound. It wasn’t until the sixth when he was pulled for Mike Morin, who we just saw come in as relief yesterday against the Orioles, and who subsequently let the opposition open the game wide open. Today was no different, with Morin giving up one hit and two walks in just ⅓ innings pitched.
Bringing in Morin yesterday was slightly questionable, but two days in a row is just borderline trolling. To make matters worse, after the Blue Jays loaded up the bases, Morin was then pulled for Vinnie Pestano, who had not pitched in 9 days. The reliever definitely looked like someone who hadn’t been on the hill for a bit, as he quickly took his inherited bases loaded jam and served up a single to catcher Russel Martin and a double by Danny Valencia, putting another four runs on the board. It was two innings, the second and the sixth, which led to eight runs and basically sealed the Halos’ fate today; C.J. can at least hang his hat on the fact that he stayed in the game and tried to tough out an inning or two more, but the middle relief once again blew a game, and they even gave up the icing on Toronto’s Victoria Day cake via a seventh inning, two-run bomb by Jose Bautista.
Perhaps the saddest part of the Angels pitching performances today was the fact that the Angels rallied back from C.J.’s early four-run deficit, made the game interesting, and actually scored some runs. Six total, to be exact! Any other game over the past couple weeks and they’d be right in it, if not well ahead, but the relief pitching really burned them in this one. Albert Pujols and David Freese both had homeruns, and Kole Calhoun, batting cleanup today (and probably for the foreseeable future) had a nice RBI double. But that’s all small potatoes when you hear about Chris Iannetta’s day at the plate. The bald backstop went 3 for 4, with two doubles and his first homerun of the year! To the five or six people in the world who played him in their daily fantasy lineups, bravo. This may be as good as it gets for Chris Iannetta for the rest of the season, so of course there’s the extra layer of irony considering it was all for nothing. Chris Iannetta just can’t catch a break.
The Halos had given up nine runs total in their last six games, but when your starter has over 60 pitches after two innings, and your middle relief, while well rested, can’t get guys out, you will have a very, very bad day. Against a team with power, like Toronto, it’ll get even worse. To put a point on how bad and un-clutch the Angels pitching was, they not only gave up a season high in runs, but eight of those runs came with two outs. Eight runs scored with two outs! This loss puts the team back at .500 on the season, and they’ll look to Hector Santiago to right the ship. Silver lining: our evenings just freed up. Catch up your DVR’d television tonight and we’ll see you tomorrow.