The Angels wrapped up their AL East road trip with a sad trombone whimper today, as they lost their second consecutive game in Fenway, and thus lost the series. A holiday weekend series against the Red Sux can be a blessing and a curse, as we saw the highs of Friday night’s huge scoring swell slowly dissipate into the glassy, lifeless calm that we’ve come to expect from this lineup as of late. With the reward of having that pure elation comes the risk of feeling like someone tampered with your Cheerios this morning, and in an atrocious manner. Hint: it was probably Mike Napoli.
Starting pitching was on full display in this contest, aided by an infuriating(for both teams) strike zone from home umpire John Hirschbeck. Every inning there were at least one or two pitches called for strikes that were 6 inches below the zone. If that pitch was thrown a second time in the exact same spot, it’d probably be called a ball. Both teams benefited, though, and it was Wade Miley who shined the most today. Miley kept the Angels stifled for most of the game, save for an RBI double by Mike Trout. Hector Santiago had a career high in pitches(124) in the 6 ⅔ innings on the mound, and he was able to walk away with a quality start. Of course, he gave up his obligatory Mike Napoli-VS.-Angels homerun in the second, and a sacrifice fly from Dustin Pedroia in the fifth, but the former is a given and should pretty much be excluded from Angels pitching stats.
Vinnie Pestano, Cam Bedrosian and Cesar Ramos all got the call from Mike Scioscia today, and none of them inspired any further confidence in the Angels bullpen outside of Joe Smith and Huston Street. The only thing the bullpen was good for today was expanding the manageable 3-1 hole into a 6-1 capitulation. I wish this team could have more fight in them; I feel like the attitude is there, but the ability is not. When you’re trying to come back, yet have innings were your destiny is in the hands of Matt Joyce, C.J. Cron, and Taylor Featherston, you’re absolutely wasting three outs. They may just have to hope for something to correct itself, the team to get hot...something. There isn’t exactly a ready-made solution to their offensive woes in Salt Lake, and the trade whispers are bleak.
The Angels now head back to Anaheim, where they’ll have a home stand against the Padres, Tigers and Rays. Houston continues to play well. Something needs to happen soon, or this will be a long season. Go out and enjoy your Sunday, get this horrible taste out of your mouth. Blech!