So they'll be talking about that one tomorrow. After blanking the Indians for six innings, Mike Scioscia yanks Andrew Heaney with only 88 pitches thrown. Trevor Gott appears in the seventh, chaos ensues, and a 1-0 shutout becomes a 3-1 loss.
There's not a lot to say otherwise. C.J. Cron, Erick Aybar, and Kaleb Cowart put three singles together to score a run in the fifth. That was fun. Carlos Perez hit into a rally-killing double-play in between though, actually just one of four the Angels pounded overall. Decidedly less fun. Why is decidedly a word anyways? Who decided?
As you can tell, this game strained the limits of my attention. If you're buying seats, a 1-0 game in the bottom of the seventh is actually a pretty rewarding outcome. Nice brisk pace, winner and loser still undecided, maybe even the excitement of a top-flight pitcher's duel. Strange, this one had less duel and more gruel. Neither of these teams are good at batting, and tonight it showed, but especially the Angels, with just five hits and three walks for their trouble at the plate.
Trevor Bauer put them down easy. In eight innings, he barely had to sweat aside from that fun-pack of cheap singles in the fifth. Heaney had pretty much matched him through six, but he had just escaped from a jam when Scioscia sent him off to the showers.
Yeah, about that. We're at that point in the season where managers on contending teams start to get nervous about their gifted young arms. Heaney has pitched like a boss, better even than Garrett Richards, but he's already passed 150 innings in total this year, compared with about 165 last year. Standard practice would hold him at 190 or so. Bauer, on the other hand, already got 200 last season.
Would one more inning have really made a difference to Heaney's long-term prospectus? Probably not. Would always pushing him for one more inning at every opportunity make a difference? Sure, there's a chance. It's a tough choice: How do you know which one is the right one on any given evening?
Maybe try looking at the scoreboard first. While you're at it, have another look at the bozos you've got in the bullpen. Seriously, Mike Scioscia, you are the worst at this.