Thursday, April 16, 2009

Your Last Place Angels: Angels 3; Mariners 11

The Angels fell behind early, held a brief one run lead, then proceeded to get stomped by the Mariners in a seven run seventh inning that put the game out of reach. After yet another gamed marred by poor relief pitching and a lack of timely hitting, the Angels find themselves 3-5 on the season, 3.5 games back of the Mariners, and in last place in the AL West.

Torii Hunter’s fifth inning two run home run erased an early deficit and gave the Angels a one run lead. But Jered Weaver served up back to back gopher balls to Endy Chavez and Ken Griffey Jr. in the bottom of the fifth to regain a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. The M’s added a run in the sixth when Jered Weaver couldn’t handle a squeeze bunt. Kevin Jepsen worked out of the mess that Weaver left, but he allowed three runs in the seventh before turning it over to Jason Bulger, who allowed a single and two walks before giving up a grand slam to Ichiro.

In the seventh inning, trailing by two runs, the Angels strung together a Hunter double, a strike-out/wild-pitch to Kendry Morales, and a Juan Rivera single to cut the deficit to one. But after Jeff Mathis sacrificed the tying and go-ahead runs into scoring position, Erick Aybar and Chone Figgins struck out to end the threat, and the M’s explosion a half inning later erased any doubt.

Thoughts from the game:

  • Jered Weaver didn’t look very sharp. He threw a lot of strikes (60 in 89 pitches), but he got knocked around pretty well, giving up 10 hits. Not a surprise in an early game, but as their second best active starter, he really needs to pick up the slack.
  • Erick Aybar looks lost at the plate. His 0-4 performance dropped his average to .150, and he left three men on base. With the Angels offense struggling, and with Brandon Wood’s hot start (.333/.333/1.067 - three homers and a triple in 15 at bats) and terrific spring training, you have to wonder how long the Angels can afford to keep him in Salt Lake.
  • Last night’s game looked like a flash back to last October. The 8-9-1-2 hitters combined to go 0-15. Tough to get anything going with a big black hole like that in your lineup.

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