Welcome to Managerial Musings, the weekly examination of everyone's favorite lightning rod Mike Scioscia! Here, we will present three game-time decisions—the good, the bad and the ugly—made by The Big Catorce throughout the previous week of Angels' games. Obviously, the decisions provided are completely debatable. That's kind of the point. We want these articles to provide discussion opportunities for everyone. Think our choices for the good, the bad and/or the ugly are terrible? Let us know. Have a decision from the previous week that would fit better in any of the three categories? Let us know. Think someone's comments are totally off base? Let them know, not us! All right, onto the fun...
The Good: May 19. Angels beat the Jays, 3-2.
The Angels had just tied the game up, 2-2, in the top of the seventh, and Scioscia lets Hector Santiago go back out for the bottom of the inning. Of course, had this blown up, we'd all be screaming at Scioscia for not being clairvoyant. But it didn't, so it ends up being a good decision. Yeah, yeah, results-based analysis, I know. Hector pitched a stellar, nine-pitch 1-2-3 inning en route to the win. Scioscia's decision shows that Hector's improvement this year (please, no one bring up his unsustainable performance) is being rewarded.
The Bad: May 17. The Orioles beat the Angels, 3-0.
So, Garrett Richards is cruising, straight carving through the Orioles' lineup. Having only given up one run in 7.2 IP, Garrett gives up a seeing-eye single to Manny Machado, and Mike Scioscia makes the walk to the mound. Garrett is pulled after only 105 pitches and he ain't happy. In comes Mike "Moosh" Morin, who proceeds to pitch like moose sh--. He immediately gives up a single to Jimmy Paredes, then a ringing, two-RBI double to Adam Jones. Finally, he gets the last out on a lonnnnnnggggg line drive to deep center field off the bat of Delmon "Cleveland Brown" Young.
Mike only needed to get one out. Instead, he gave up two runs, one of those added to Garrett's ledger. And with the way this offense has gone so far this season? Overcoming a 3-0 deficit? Game over, man. Game over. Ugh.
The Ugly: May 18. The jays beat the Angels, 10-6.
This game was ugly in a lot of ways. And certainly, by the time Cesar Ramos was brought in for "please-don't-make-this-any-worse-than-it-already-is" duty, the game was pretty hideous, as the Angels were already down 8-5. After rallying a few innings before to overcome the early deficit of 4-0 that a shaky C.J. Wilson had dumped on the batters' doorstep, an even shakier Mike Morin (Remember him? Look above.) walked a bunch of guys, only to have Vinnie "I love me some inherited runners scoring" Pestano let everyone cross home plate.
A four-run sixth is bad enough, but letting Cesar Ramos face a lefty-crushing lineup like the Jays (.319/.378/.515!!!/.893 with 12 dingers in 344 PA this year) was downright ugly. And it showed. Ramos threw a 3-2 changeup right down the pipe and Jose Bautista made him pay. It wasn't pretty. Two more hits followed (Edwin Encarnacion and Russell Martin, both RHBs!), but Ramos was able to get that final out without any more runs crossing the plate. Phew.