Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yet Another Bullpen Implosion: Tigers 12; Angels 10

It’s starting to sound like a broken record, but once again, the Angels relievers were handed a lead, and once again, they imploded, allowing seven runs over the final four innings, turning a 7-5 lead into a 12-10 defeat.

Joe Saunders was not sharp, allowing five runs over his five innings, but Kendry Morales and the Angels offense delivered him seven runs. Justin Speier allowed a run in the sixth, but the Angels matched that and handed a two run lead to Scot Shields, who claimed earlier in the week that a adjustment to his mechanics had solved the problems he faced earlier in the season.

Time for another adjustment. He faced four batters and allowed all four to reach, two via the single, and two via the walk, one of which drove in a run. Jose Arredondo allowed the three runners he inherited to score, thanks in no small part to a miscue by short stop Erick Aybar.

Brandon Wood sat for the second straight game since his call up, but the Angels offense didn’t need him. Kendry Morales homered and doubled, driving in five of the Angels ten runs. Torii Hunter and Maicer Izturis each delivered three hits. Juan Rivera and Gary Matthews each picked up two hits. On the evening, the Angels knocked Tigers pitching around for 16 hits, but for the second time in a week, an enormous offensive outburst couldn’t make up for shoddy pitching.

Thoughts on the game:

  • Brandon Wood’s call up has so far defied all logic. He’s the Angels top offensive prospect, and he’s now played seven games in the last 13 days. One would think that after missing time to attend funerals, the Angels would want him in the lineup every day. Calling him up just to have him sit makes no sense.
  • For the last few years, the Angels bullpen has been a significant advantage, practically reducing games to seven innings for opponents. This year, not only is the advantage gone, they’re giving opponents a head start. They need to take at least a three run lead into the seventh inning or they’re in trouble.
  • Crazy to think, but this team would actually be a couple games worse without Torii Hunter. Fortunately, everyone else in the AL West keeps losing.

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